Study Guide

Things Fall Apart Chapter Twenty-Five

By Chinua Achebe

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Chapter Twenty-Five

  • The District Commissioner and his guards arrive at Okonkwo’s compound, demanding to see Okonkwo.
  • A small group of men is sitting there, but not Okonkwo.
  • The District Commissioner gets all hot and bothered when the men say that Okonkwo isn’t there, and he threatens to jail the men.
  • Obierika agrees to take the District Commissioner and his guards to Okonkwo. Still all snippy, the District Commissioner warns Obierika that if he tries anything tricky, he’ll be shot.
  • In a small opening in the compound, the District Commissioner sees Okonkwo dangling from a tree. He has committed suicide.
  • Obierika asks them to help them take down the body. Since it is an abomination for a man to take his own life, his corpse is now considered evil and only strangers may touch it. The Umuofia will pay the missionaries to take down and bury Okonkwo’s body; then they will perform the proper rituals to consecrate the polluted land.
  • Looking at Okonkwo’s body, Obierika loses his composure and blurts out, “That man was one of the greatest men in Umuofia. You drove him to kill himself; and now he will be buried like a dog…”
  • His outburst is ignored, except by one messenger who tells him to shut up.
  • The District Commissioner agrees to help them bury Okonkwo and sets his men to the task.
  • As the Commissioner leaves, he thinks about Okonkwo’s actions and wants to include them in a new book he is writing. At first he thinks he can devote a whole chapter to Okonkwo, but quickly decides to cut it to a mere paragraph. (Interesting that Achebe wrote a whole book about Okonkwo…)
  • Things Fall Apart ends with the revelation of the title of the District Commissioner’s book: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.

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