Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe
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Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

15) Why can’t Okonkwo be buried?

Okonkwo can’t be buried because he committed suicide. As the clansman tells the District Commissioner, “It is an abomination for a man to take his own life . . . an offense against the Earth.” For this reason, the clansman cannot bury Okonkwo’s body since it is now considered “evil.” Putting something evil into the ground is an offense to the earth goddess and would most certainly curse the ground and the clan.