Detailed Summary:Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Part IV critically analysing chapters ten and eleven



Chapter Ten of Things Fall Apart:



It was an evening ceremony meant for men and taking place at ilo. "There were three men in one group and three men and one woman in the other. The woman was Mgbafo and the three men with her were her brothers. In the other group were her husband, Uzowulu, and his relatives. Mgbafo and her brothers were as still as statues into whose faces the artist has moulded defiance". While they were here, they were looking towards egwugwu house from where a myriad of voices was heard followed by the emergence of the spirits of their ancestors. Their back was towards the people of the tribe while they lost into the forest. Soon an egwugwu was observed coming. Seeing it, Mgbafo tried to run away but was restrained by her brother. There were nine egwugwu : "Each of the nine egwugwu represented a village of the clan. Their leader was called Evil Forest. Smoke poured out of his head."

The egwugwu came and sat on the empty stools according to their order: "Okonkwo's wives, and perhaps other women as well, might have noticed that the second egwugwu had the springy walk of Okonkwo. And they might also have noticed that Okonkwo was not among the titled men and elders who sat behind the row of egwugwu. But if they thought these things they kept them within themselves". Evil Forest asked Uzowulu to present his case. Hearing his name, Uzowulu bent down on the ground. He then told that he wedded his wife and had children according to the law of the clan but one day his in laws beat him and took their sister, Mgbafo along. I demanded the return of my bride price but I was returned none.

Then Evil Forest heard the case of Odukwe. He related that Uzowulu used to beat his sister and despite several advises, he didn't listen to him. The relation had to be forcibly ended by him. Evil Forest then went back with the eight other Egwugwu in the egwugwu house. They returned and pronounced the judgment for Uzowulu: "Go to your in-laws with a pot of wine and beg your wife to return to you. It is not bravery when a man fights with a woman."

Chapter Eleven in Things Fall Apart



It was quite late in the night. Pitch black darkness had covered everything. Ezinma was eating with her mother and Okonkwo was reclining in his room. He could listen his wife telling stories to the children and they were all amused. When Ezinma was telling the story, they heard "Chielo, the priestess of Agbala, prophesying. There was nothing new in that. Once in a while Chielo was possessed by the spirit of her god and she began to prophesy" but today she was prophesying about Okonkwo. They all got attentive. She reached the hut of Okonkwo and told him that "Agbala wanted to see his daughter, Ezinma". Okonkwo lied that she was sleeping but she won't listen. She threatened that Okonkwo dare not speak against god.

The priestess then reached the room of Ekwefi and asked her to bring Ezinma because Agbala wants to see her. Ekwefi wanted to go along but the priestess refused and took Ezinma along. All the family members consoled her but she didn't listen to them. She decided to follow the now distant voice of priestess and went out of her house. She ran and ran fast enough. She panted but ran for her daughter's love. But she could not see anything for want of light. It was as dark as coal. She could not even see her own hands. Then she heard the voice of the priestess. The priestess had realized that somebody was after her. She screamed: "Whether you are spirit or man, may Agbala shave your head with a blunt razor! May he twist your neck until you see your heels!"

She feared the priestess' words but still followed. After sometime she realized that they have crossed the cave and the priestess is not heading towards the cave. It was towards the "Umuachi, the farthest village in the clan". After some walking she realized that the priestess was now returning to the village. She kept following her. She prayed that the moon may rise and there be light so that she might see her daughter. The moon did rise out of the clouds and she could see a vague figure of the priestess and a burden on her. But she was at a great distance. The priestess reached the cave eventually and Ekwefi could now see her daughter carried by her. When the priestess took her daughter inside the cave: "tears gushed from her eyes, and she swore within her that if she heard Ezinma cry she would rush into the cave to defend her against all the gods in the world. She would die with her". Suddenly, she realized a man with a machete was behind her and she dropped herself in his feet out of fear. He proved to be Okonkwo who consoled her and asked her to go home and wait there for him because he would sit there for his daughter.



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