Detailed Summary:Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Part III summarizing chapters seven, eight and nine with analysis



Chapter Seven summary Things Fall Apart:



It was exactly three years now Ikemefuna lived in Okonkwo's household. The elders of Umuofia seemed to have forgotten Ikemefuna while he had also adjusted in the family of Okonkwo. The most pleasing aspect of his stay was on Nwoye who had become lively and active. This amused Okonkwo. He used to tell them the stories of bloodshed and violence but Nwoye loved the stories of another kind which his mother told about tortoise, birds etc. The life was moving happily when the locusts came to the village. "Everyone was now about, talking excitedly and praying that the locusts should camp in Umuofia for the night". They wanted to taste locusts. The locusts did stay. "The locusts settled in the bushes for the night and their wings became wet with dew. Then all Umuofia turned out in spite of the cold harmattan, and everyone filled his bags and pots with locusts".

Next day, an elder of the village came to inform Okonkwo: "The Oracle of the Hills and the Caves has pronounced it. They will take him outside Umuofia as is the custom, and kill him there. But I want you to have nothing to do with it. He calls you his father". Following day, Okonkwo told Ikemefuna that he would be taken home. He beat his son Nwoye who was weeping at parting with him. There was grimness in his house. He went out with Ikemefuna when a party of elders came to him. They moved out of the village. A silence prevailed upon them when they reached the outskirts of the village. They entered forest and whispered for hurrying up. Ikemefuna "had felt uneasy at first, he was not afraid now. Okonkwo walked behind him".

They men killed Ikemefuna. When Okonkwo "heard Ikemefuna cry: "My father, they have killed me!" he ran towards him. "Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak". Back home, his son Nwoye knew that Ikemefuna was going to be killed by his father and the village men.

Chapter Eight Things Fall Apart:



Okonkwo was in deep gloom and he "did not taste any food for two days after the death of Ikemefuna". He could not sleep at night. "He tried not to think about Ikemefuna,-but the more he tried the more he thought about him". Then Ezinma brought him the food and asked him to eat. He liked his daughter and thought that "she should have been a boy". Okonkwo decided to go outside to meet his friend Obierika. When he reached there, his friend informed him that the suitor of his daughter is arriving, so he must stay with him for settling the bride price. He sees the son of his friend and says that his son is not like Obierika's son; however, "if Ezinma had been a boy I would have been happier. She has the right spirit".

Then Okonkwo asked his friend why he had not gone with them for killing the boy. He replied that he had better things to do and "the Oracle did not ask me to carry out its decision". He also told Okonkwo that "if I were you I would have stayed at home. What you have done will not please the Earth. It is the kind of action for which the goddess wipes out whole families". Okonkwo calls his friend coward but he asks Okonkwo to realize the difference between fear and apprehension: "if the Oracle said that my son should be killed I would neither dispute it nor be the one to do it".

Then the guests came to settle the bride price. After the matter was settled, Okonkwo went home to take some sleep.

Chapter nine Things Fall Apart:



He did sleep for some time on third night. He woke with heavy knocking on his door with the shout: "Ezinma is dying". He rushed out to see his daughter. She was suffering from iba, a disease. Then Okonkwo went into the forest collecting the leaves that could be used to prepare medicine for their daughter. She was very dear to her mother. Of Ekwefi's ten children she was the only one that was alive, the others died soon after their birth. Okonkwo had gone to different medicine men seeking the way for saving his children but none of the tricks as suggested by them could save his future children. Some of them suggested for his wife giving birth to the children in her parents' house while others advised him to sleep with his wife in his obi.

One after another, nine children of Ekwefi died and it was only the tenth which survived despite her poor health. "Ekwefi believed deep inside her that Ezinma had come to stay. She believed because it was that faith alone that gave her own life any kind of meaning." She nursed her sick child to bring her to health and she became a girl full of bloom and energy. A "year or so ago a medicine man had dug up Ezinma's iyi-uwa". This further assured her that he daughter will live and stay with her. That medicine man had asked Ezinma to cooperate in finding her "iyi-uwa" so that she may stay with her mother and break the cycle of returning to her mother's womb. Ezinma had led them to the obi of her father and outside it the earth was dug on her pointing.

Since that treatment, Ezinma was never sick except for the last night. Soon, Okonkwo returned with the leaves and he cooked them to make medicine. The medicine was applied on Ezinma who slept.



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