Things fall apart okonkwo and obierika relationship problems

things fall apart okonkwo and obierika relationship problems

When the will of the goddess had been done, he sat down in his obi and mourned his Obierika is a powerful clansman who is one of Okonkwo's closest friends. Obierika sees problems within his culture, but he lets the pressure of society's. Everything you ever wanted to know about Obierika in Things Fall Apart, written by As a character, Obierika's tends to fill the role of advice-giver to Okonkwo. and find homework help for other Things Fall Apart questions at eNotes. be most likely to vote for as representing the manly idea of the clan, Okonkwo or Obierika? his relationship with his father that has produced such a character as Okonkwo: Men come to him for advice and help in handling specific situations.

Our protagonist is ambitious. Indeed, one of his flaws is his fear of failure, of becoming like his father. Viewing society from the inside, students can make inferences about why a high value is accorded to clan solidarity, kinship, and hospitality, and the reasons for courtship and funeral customs.

In a culture without written language, the arts of conversation and oration are prized. Wisdom is transmitted through proverbs, stories, and myths. The agrarian cycle of seasons, with their work and festivals, the judicious use of snuff and palm wine, the importance of music and dance, all could be noted and compared to similar Western mores. Law and justice keep the peace, pronouncing on a land dispute or the killing of a clansman.

A priestess and masked tribesmen interpret the Oracle, speaking for ancestors and gods. They enforce taboos against twins and suicide, and offer explanations for high infant mortality. The second and third parts of the novel trace the inexorable advance of Europeans. The first white man to arrive in a nearby village is killed because of an omen, and in retribution all are slaughtered by British guns.

Christian missionaries seem to be madmen, their message of wicked ways and false gods attractive only to outcasts. But along with Christianity come hospitals and schools, converting farmers to court clerks and teachers. Trading stores pay high prices for palm oil. Government is closely linked to religion and literacy. Okonkwo, upholder of the ways of his ancestors, is inevitably cast in the role of tragic hero.

In exile during the first years of colonization, he has less understanding of the power of the Europeans than his now-passive kinsmen. His doom is swift and sure. This guide uses the contemporary spelling, Igbo, rather than Ibo.

Okonkwo and Obierika - Vanguard News Nigeria

It provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual society. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing the life of nature, history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. Things Fall Apart is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within. The novel is structured in three parts. What do the divisions reflect about the stages of life of the protagonist?

How do the divisions move toward and illustrate the collapse of Igbo society? What is the point of view of the narrator? How does the point of view contribute to our understanding of the conflicting cultures? What techniques does the narrator use to evoke a participatory role for the reader? How does this contrast with the ending, when Okonkwo is deliberating about an adequate response to the British humiliation of the Igbo elders in jail? Achebe uses storytelling flashbacks to describe the relationship of Okonkwo and Unoka.

What do the flashbacks reveal about their relationship? What is the effect of the use of storytelling to illustrate the flashbacks?

In Chapter One, how does Achebe foreshadow the presence and ultimate fate of Ikemefuna? Describe the judicial function of the egwugwu and its relationship to the living, particularly to Igbo women. Why is it also related to the spiritual world?

How does Achebe illustrate the blending of the spiritual and real worlds? How does the killing of Ikemefuna foreshadow the fall of Okonkwo? Why is Okonkwo exiled? Why is the exile ironic? When and how is the white man introduced? What attitudes toward the Igbo people do the white men bring and how do their attitudes determine their treatment of the Igbo people? How does Achebe use incidents to paint the general character of the white colonizers?

things fall apart okonkwo and obierika relationship problems

Character and Conflict 1. How does Okonkwo achieve greatness as defined by his culture? Why is Unoka, who suffers from a swelling in the stomach, left to die in the evil forest? How does Okonkwo differ from his father? What are his feelings toward his father? Cite examples in the attitude and actions of Okonkwo that show the Igbo division of what is considered manly and what is considered womanly.

Why is Okonkwo unhappy with his son and heir? How do his feelings toward Nwoye compare with his feelings toward Ikemefuna? Why is Ikemefuna killed? How does Nwoye react to the sacrifice? Okonkwo changes significantly after the killing of Ikemefuna. Why does Nwoye convert to Christianity? How does his conversion affect his relationship with his father? How is his portrayal different from the Igbo characters? Compare and contrast him with other white colonists. How do his actions show disdain for Igbo traditions?

Setting and Society 1. The novel begins in Umuofia and ends in Umuofia.

things fall apart okonkwo and obierika relationship problems

What surprises you about life in an African tribal community? What preconceptions did you bring to your reading that were either reinforced or changed? Why do the community celebrations make Okonkwo unhappy? Igbo culture is patriarchal. What is the role of women in the community? Does their role make them less valuable than men? How does wife beating reflect the community attitude toward women? Near the beginning of the novel, we learn that Okonkwo has several wives.

What does this arrangement reveal about family life in the community? Describe the Igbo extended family system. How does it help Okonkwo to survive his exile in Mbanta? Compare and contrast Umuofia and Mbanta. How do their similarities and differences add to an understanding of the Igbo culture?

A significant social marker in Igbo society is the honorific title system. Describe how the use of titles allows Igbo members to compare themselves with each other.

What is the symbolic meaning of the Week of Peace for the Igbo people? Unlike the Okonkwo group that has a military style command structure, with Nnamdi Kanu as the supreme leader. The Obierika group has no defined leader, but has several champions. The nearest person to a leader is the highly urbane Ohaneze leader, John Nnia Nwodo and his celebrated gift of the garb. This struggle between these two distinct approaches to grave national issues is not a peculiarly Igbo thing.

Unfortunately, the panacea to reducing their anger was the act of state of allowing them access to huge state funds. That at least guaranteed peace. In the South West, following the triumphalism of the elections, the Obierikas are in firm control. The recognised leaders of the Okonkwo school of thought lost out in the popular vote and can hardly afford a whimper. This same struggle, but this time cloaked with religious garb best defined the emergence of Boko Haram in the North East.

The elite the Obierikas kept mute whilst the Okonkwos ran riot. At the last count, hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost to the needless war that was occasioned by the failure of the elite to reign in the young Turks.

things fall apart okonkwo and obierika relationship problems

The war appears destined to continue ad infinitum. To our collective chagrin.


The Igbo elite must never shirk in their responsibility of carefully streamlining issues and pushing the issues to the front burner of national discourse. They must also not shirk their primary responsibility of controlling the young Turks and keeping them within the bounds of the law.

Things Fall Apart Teacher’s Guide

It is clear to all discerning Nigerians that a restructuring of the current unitary system of government in our country in line with the accepted doctrine of real and fiscal federalism is a basic desideratum for peaceful co-existence of the constituent parts of Nigeria. The South West Obierikas should appreciate that their current assumed access to Federal power will not last forever, and that if they fail to utilize this opportunity to ensure that true federalism their previous flagship mantra is installed in Nigeria, they will surely rue it in the future.

It is also the responsibility of the Federal Government to appreciate that the current structure of governance in Nigeria is the cause of most of the conflicts that abound in Nigeria. The earlier this issue of restructuring is addressed, the easier life will be for the Obierikas that abound across all the geo political zones of our country.

Odikpo, a lawyer, wrote from Lagos.