Things Fall Apart Summary
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All Okonkwo was asking for was a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Granted, swinging your machete around may not be the nicest way to ask, but still. The guy deserved better.
|Author||Achebe - Chinua Achebe|
|Post-1945 Literature||Post-1945 World Literature|
Fate and Free Will
Language and Communication
Man and the Natural World
Respect and Reputation
Tradition and Customs
of the Year” awards.
Need an example? Check this out....Okonkwo sort of inherited this hostage kid from another
…which was okay, because Ikemefuna <Ee-keh-meh-foo-nah> turned out to be a pretty cool dude. Dad liked
him, too. In fact, he liked Ike a lot more than he liked me. …
…But that still didn't stop him from going all Texas Chainsaw Massacre when the tribe
decided to kill Ike. You see, Dad didn't want the guys to think he was weak, so he let his
machete do the talking. Nobody really wanted to get on Okonkwo’s bad side after that…
Dad was really big on respect. Is one of your wives talking back to you? Use her for target
Did a lowly peon dare to disagree with you during a meeting? Call him a lady. Yep, Okonkwo
was quite the charmer. "Nwoye,” (Nuh-woh-yeh) he used to say, "I yam what I yam." Well,
actually I couldn't hear what he said over the sounds of his fist hitting me repeatedly,
but I'm sure he meant something along those lines.
In fact, the only person he gave a fig about, besides the adopted son he sliced in half,
was his daughter Ezinma < Eh-zeen-mah>.
I know, her name sounds like a skin condition, but she's my half-sister, so watch it. When
she got sick, Okonkwo was all, "I'll save you!" and made her a special medicine. The
guy never so much as gave me a Band-Aid. But karma finally caught up with Okonkwo when
he shot a kid during a tribal “21 gun salute.” Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot
of gun safety classes in Nigeria.
Since he didn't mean to whack the kid, he only got 7 years of exile from the village.
Naturally, I started planning the mother of all house parties, but it turns out I had
to go with him into the boonies.
News from the home front wasn't great...apparently the whites took out a bunch of neighboring
villagers that killed a tourist. Or maybe it was a missionary. The villagers didn't
really investigate. Anyway, those pesky evangelists started trickling
into our neighborhood…
… and their peace and love spiel sounded a lot better than my dad’s "slice and dice"
policy. Plus, those missionaries had some really good mojo, because they voluntarily
decided to live in the Evil Forest…
…and they didn't die horrible deaths! I was kind of impressed, but I knew dad would
kill me if I hung out with the Christians. Then he actually did try to kill me, so I
decided to cut my losses and join the missionary school. That oughtta fix his little red wagon!
When Pops got back after his 7 year timeout, he was super-angry to find the white man taking
over his stomping grounds and changing things up in a big way. There was a serious culture
clash...they insulted our gods…
…so we burned their church. That little shenanigan landed Okonkwo in prison for a
The minute he got out of the slammer, Dad was on fire for revenge, and he got pretty
P.O.ed that no one wanted to back him up. So, he killed himself.
The tribe was really upset about it, but they still knuckled under to the missionaries,
and all Okonkwo’s efforts got him was a paragraph in a white guy's book.
Sure, my dad was a jerk, but in the end, he deserved more respect than he died with. So
long, Pops. This yam’s for you.