Where is Umuofia?
Umuofia is located west of the actual city of Onitsha, on the east bank of the Niger River in Nigeria. The events of the novel unfold in the 1890s.
Things Fall Apart is about the tragic fall of the protagonist, Okonkwo, and the Igbo culture. Okonkwo is a respected and influential leader within the Igbo community of Umuofia in eastern Nigeria.
- Okonkwo shamefully beats his youngest wife for her negligence in not preparing dinner. The priest demands that Okonkwo will pay a fine for breaking the peace during the sacred time known as the Week of Peace. During the New Yam Festival, Okonkwo becomes angry when he has nothing to do. He beats Ekwefi.
- It is a disgrace to commit suicide in his tribe. For all his life, Okonkwo feared dying like his father without honors at his burial. With a feeling of hopelessness, Okonkwo gives up and hangs himself. He commits suicide because he cannot deal with the changes that the Christian white men are making in his village.
- Chinua Achebe's 1958 novel Things Fall Apart traces the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo man living in the Nigerian village of Umuofia. Another character in the novel is Chielo, priestess and oracle of the goddess Agbala. Chielo is a widow and mother and is often possessed by the goddess.
Okonkwo is a wealthy and respected warrior of the Umuofia clan, a lower Nigerian tribe that is part of a consortium of nine connected villages. He is haunted by the actions of Unoka, his cowardly and spendthrift father, who died in disrepute, leaving many village debts unsettled.
- The family that falls apart Second wife Third wife Ojiugo Ezinma Ekwefi Ikemefuna Nwoye First Wife Okonkwo's son. Nwoye is sensitive and thoughtful, but he is also lacking in a hard wok ethnic.
- The villages surrounding the fictional Umuofia were composed of small groups of people ruled by revered elders, the same as the villages near Ogidi. Umuofia is located on the east bank of the Niger River, west of the real city of Onitsha.
In Chapter 2 of Things Fall Apart, the village of Mbaino sends a young virgin woman and a young man, Ikemefuna, to Umuofia as payment to avoid a war.
- During the second year of Okonkwo's exile, Obierika brings several bags of cowries to Okonkwo. He also brings bad news: a village named Abame has been destroyed. It seems that a white man arrived in Abame on an “iron horse” (which we find out later is a bicycle) during the planting season.
- Okonkwo remembers from childhood when his father was called a woman. The proverb, "When the moon is shining, the cripple becomes hungry for a walk," represents a belief in the protective quality of moonlight in contrast with the fear of the darkness.
- Though Mr. Kiaga is only present for a short period in Things Fall Apart, he has a lasting effect. He comes in originally as a missionary and an interpreter for the white missionary who accompanies him to Mbanta, the home of Okonkwo's mother's clan.
Updated: 21st October 2019