Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart

He had a slight stammer and had no patience with unsuccessful men. Okonkwo’s fears were becoming like his father, Unoka because his father was a failure. The characteristics of his father was his father was poor and his wife and children had barely enough to eat and people laughed at him because he was a loafer and they swore never to lend him money again because he never paid it back. Unoka was inactive, deprived, wasteful, weak, moderate, and always very fascinated in music and conversation.

Okonkwo on the other hand was the total opposite of his father, he just married his third wife, he was a wealthy farmer and had two barns full of yams last but not least he had taken two titles and had shown incredible prowess in two inter-tribal wars. 2. Kola is a stimulant, comparable to very strong tea or coffee, which is served on most social occasions in this culture. It is also one ingredient after which Coca Cola is named. Note how the ritual for sharing kola is described without being explained.

Why do you think Achebe does this? He will continue to introduce Ibo customs in this fashion throughout the novel. * Achebe describes kola without explaining it because he wants the reader to know that Kola nuts plays a big part in the African culture due to the fact that in the book it states “He who bring Kola Nuts brings life”. Kola Nuts is to be presented to the titled man or a village head. This plays a very important social and ritual role in the Igbo culture. The kola-nuts are the highest symbol of Igbo hospitality.

Whenever a kola-nut appears in a gathering, the matter to be discussed at that particular time is regarded as very important. When an important guest visits the community, kola-nuts are brought out and handed to the elder person. 3. One becomes influential in this culture by earning titles. As with the Potlatch Indians of our region and many other peoples, this is an expensive proposition which involves the dispersing most of one’s painfully accumulated wealth. What do you think are the social functions of such a system? I believe the social functions of such a system is to show your people how far you have come as a person and how successful you are. So the more money that you spend it shows people how victorious you are. If you just have a regular old party without putting much money into it you aren’t that successful in other people’s eyes. 4. One of the most famous lines in the novel is “proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten. ” What does this mean? Palm oil is a rich yellow oil pressed from the fruit of certain palm trees and used both for fuel and cooking.

Look for other proverbs as you read. Cowry shells threaded on strings were traditionally used as a means of exchange by many African cultures. The villages’ distance from the sea makes them sufficiently rare to serve as money. Cowries from as far away as Southeast Asia have been found in sub-Saharan Africa. * This important quote shows how the Igbo people use their art of rhetoric so plainly. The quote shows how our lifestyle is one of fast-paced conversations, yet the Igbo prize conversation as an art form.

That art form shows how the Igbo people use rhetoric so plainly. We all know proverbs are meant to be well thought-out and intentional but not quickly digested and forgotten. In the quote the metaphor suggests that words are organized by proverbs for digestion. Palm oil was a common form of cooking oil, and many foods were prepared with it for use. For that reason, proverbs are the source by which words or conversations are made. The same value that they place on food, the nourishment of life, to words, the sustenance of communication and for these reasons the community.