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Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe

Chapters 24–25

Chapters 22–23

Chapters 24–25, page 2

page 1 of 3

Summary: Chapter 24

After their release, the prisoners return to the village with such brooding looks that the women and children from the village are afraid to greet them. The whole village is overcome with a tense and unnatural silence. Ezinma takes Okonkwo some food, and she and Obierika notice the whip marks on his back.

The village crier announces another meeting for the following morning, and the clan is filled with a sense of foreboding. At sunrise, the villagers gather. Okonkwo has slept very little out of excitement and anticipation. He has thought it over and decided on a course of action to which he will stick no matter what the village decides as a whole. He takes out his war dress and assesses his smoked raffia skirt, tall feather headgear, and shield as in adequate condition. He remembers his former glories in battle and ponders that the nature of man has changed. The meeting is packed with men from all of the clan’s nine villages.

The first speaker laments the damage that the white man and his church have done to the clan and bewails the desecration of the gods and ancestral spirits. He reminds the clan that it may have to spill clansmen’s blood if it enters into battle with the white men. In the middle of the speech, five court messengers approach the crowd. Their leader orders the meeting to end. No sooner have the words left the messenger’s mouth than Okonkwo kills him with two strokes of his machete. A tumult rises in the crowd, but not the kind for which Okonkwo hopes: the villagers allow the messengers to escape and bring the meeting to a conclusion. Someone even asks why Okonkwo killed the messenger. Understanding that his clan will not go to war, Okonkwo wipes his machete free of blood and departs.

He had already chosen the title of the book . . . The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.

(See Important Quotations Explained)

Summary: Chapter 25

When the District Commissioner arrives at Okonkwo’s compound, he finds a small group of men sitting outside. He asks for Okonkwo, and the men tell him that Okonkwo is not at home. The commissioner asks a second time, and Obierika repeats his initial answer. The commissioner starts to get angry and threatens to imprison them all if they do not cooperate. Obierika agrees to lead him to Okonkwo in return for some assistance. Although the commissioner does not understand the gist of the exchange, he follows Obierika and a group of clansmen. They proceed to a small bush behind Okonkwo’s compound, where they discover Okonkwo’s body dangling from a tree. He has hanged himself.

Obierika explains that suicide is a grave sin and his clansmen may not touch Okonkwo’s body. Though they have sent for strangers from a distant village to help take the body down, they also ask the commissioner for help. He asks why they cannot do it themselves, and they explain that his body is evil now and that only strangers may touch it. They are not allowed to bury it, but again, strangers can. Obierika displays an uncharacteristic flash of temper and lashes out at the commissioner, blaming him for Okonkwo’s death and praising his friend’s greatness. The commissioner decides to honor the group’s request, but he leaves and orders his messengers to do the work. As he departs, he congratulates himself for having added to his store of knowledge of African customs.

The commissioner, who is in the middle of writing a book about Africa, imagines that the circumstances of Okonkwo’s death will make an interesting paragraph or two, if not an entire chapter. He has already chosen the title: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.

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important facts

by adamracz95, March 03, 2013

What is the name of Okonkwo’s motherland?
(C) Mbanta

2. What holy animal does Okonkwo’s clan suspect the Christians have killed and eaten?
(B) A python

3. What is the name of the first missionary who comes to Umuofia?
(A) Mr. Brown

4. How many villages does Umuofia comprise?
(C) Nine

5. Whom did Okonkwo beat in his legendary wrestling match?
(D) Amalinze the Cat

6. In what country does Things Fall Apart take place?
(B) Nigeria

7. What do the inhabitants of Mban... Read more

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1465 out of 1529 people found this helpful

Culture of the Igbo society in the light of the novel Things Fall Apart.

by touhidsm, May 06, 2014

Read Full Answer at

http://josbd.com/Things_Fall_Apart.html


Answer: Things Fall Apart is a novel written in English by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. The novel depicts the life of Okonkwo, a leader and local wrestling champion in Umuofia - one of a fictional group of nine villages in Nigeria inhabited by the Igbo people. It focuses on his family and personal history, the customs and society of the Igbo and the influence of British colonialism and Christian m... Read more

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45 out of 51 people found this helpful

Help

by audicolen, May 19, 2015

Question 1.1.
In Things Fall Apart, Part Three, how is Reverend Smith different from Mr. Brown?

(Points : 2)

Mr. Brown believed in compromise and accommodation while Reverend Smith believes he must wipe out what he views as the ignorance.

Mr. Brown made many enemies while in Umuofia while Reverend Smith tries to make friends.

Mr. Brown’s primary goal was to build the church while Reverend Smith’s goal is to build schools.

Mr. Brown encouraged fighting while Reverend Smith encourages prayer.

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