Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe
Summary

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

11) Why do the villagers burn Okonkwo’s buildings and kill his animals?

The villagers burn Okonkwo’s buildings and kill his animals to purge the village of his sin, which was the accidental killing of a village elder’s son, an act the villagers view as a crime against the earth goddess. In order to cleanse the earth of Okonkwo’s wrongdoing, his belongings must be burned and his animals destroyed. Even though the villagers’ actions seem to be a form of revenge or punishment, there is no malicious intent in their actions; they are merely “taking care of business.”