The trial takes a complicated situation and works out a solution among those involved that keeps the peace, cements social bonds, and does so without imprisonment or violent punishment. The trial begins with a ritual introduction during which Evil Forest questions Uzowulu. Chinua Achebe: A Biography Bloomington: Indiana University Press, p. This explains the reader the secrecy and importance of the Egwugwu. At Ezeudu's funeral, Okonkwo's gun misfires, accidentally killing the dead elder's son, for which Okonkwo and his family go into exile. They are deliberately making their voices sound that way in order to scare the villagers into believing that they are the ancestral spirits of the clan.
It is not simply something you use because you have it anyway. Even though it was obvious that the women were afraid of the egwugwu, they stayed to watch the trial so their fear was not complete. Two small clusters of people stand at a respectful distance facing the elders and the empty stools. Men act wild and start cutting down every animal or tree in sight, jumping over walls, and dancing. Indeed, the next day, the egwugwu meet in the middle of town, carrying magical amulets that they believe will protect them. The Ndiichie would often be consulted to offer advice to their descendants and appeal to the Alusi on their behalf.
It featured in a supporting role. Because Achebe wrote in English, portrayed Igbo life from the point of view of an African man, and used the language of his people, he was able to greatly influence African novelists, who viewed him as a mentor. Another elder reminds him that Uzowulu does not accept any decision unless it comes from the egwugwu. Summary The new head of the Christian church, the Reverend James Smith, possesses nothing of Mr. The white people pushed to assimilate the Africans, especially in their religion, ultimately tearing families apart and disconnecting the tribe. The missionary does not believe that such children go back into the mother's womb to be born again, and he condemns people who practice these beliefs as carrying out the work of the devil.
Achebe states that his two later novels 1966 and 1987 , while not featuring Okonkwo's descendants, are to the previous novels in chronicling African history. They argue that Uzowulu must beg Mgbafo to return to him. Okonkwo, a warrior by nature and adamant about following Umuofian custom and tradition, despises any form of cowardice and advocates war against the white men. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and is widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. Edited with an introduction by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. You need to read the material and do the questions! Achebe is now considered to be the essential novelist on African identity, nationalism, and decolonization.
Chapters 22—23 Summary: Chapter 22 Reverend James Smith, a strict and intolerant man, replaces Mr. He is also obsessed with his masculinity, and any slight compromise on this is swiftly destroyed. Together, the nine of them dispense justice to the village. Brown is a white man who comes to Umuofia. The subject of the dispute, domestic violence, is a familiar one today, but the way in which the community views Uzowulu beating his wife is not. The egwugwu take the form of masked men, and everyone suspects that Okonkwo is among them. During the funeral ancient drums of death are beaten and even guns and canons are shot off.
There is sophistication to this sort of understanding that most white men never seem to recognize. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. He is to a fault. When he answered her knock at his door, they exchanged no words. When the egwugwu reach the church, Reverend Smith comes out to meet them. Whereupon they all came back and one of them gave Enoch a good stroke of the cane, which was always carried. For example, Achebe writes about the Egwugwu judging the case of Uzowulu and his constantly abused wife from page 88 to 94.
Odukwe, Mgbafo's brother, does not deny Uzowulu's charges. Enoch had killed an ancestral spirit, and Umuofia was thrown into confusion. Analysis Throughout the book Achebe gives his characters names with hidden meanings; for example, Okonkwo's name implies male pride and stubbornness. The level of knowledge and scientific especially metaphysics discoveries and practices done by the Igbo Civilizations is most likely beyond our imagination. Obierika's son, Maduka, is greatly admired by Okonkwo for his wrestling prowess, which in Okonkwo's opinion is something his own son, Nwoye lacks. I married her with my money and yams. The Ibo tribe was invaded by outsiders, their culture threatened with accusations on their way of life, worship, and customs, practically being forced into submission.
The egwugwu are seen as ancestral gods, though in actuality they are masked Umuofia elders. The egwugwu has similarities to a jury led by a foreman or judge. World Mythology: An Anthology of the Great Myths and Epics. The answer is our ancestors. I owe them no coco yams. He and his family are sent into exile for seven years to appease the gods he has offended. As they travel to the feast, Tortoise also persuades them to take new names for the feast according to custom.