Things Fall Apart


Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart: Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

Okonkwo reaches the end of his seven years in Mbanta, bitter that he has lost the opportunity to climb to the top of the clan in Umuofia. Although his mother's people have been kind to him, he still regrets the time lost there. He sends money to Obierika to build two huts for him in his old compound so that his family can live there until he can build more.
Okonkwo laments his fate, which he believes has prevented him from becoming a great man in spite of his strong will. Still, he wants to return to Umuofia, the people of his father's line. He wants to be connected to the masculine.
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As the final rainy months of his exile draw to a close, Okonkwo decides to throw a feast for his mother's kinsmen to show his gratitude. Ekwefi harvests her cassava, and Okonkwo slaughters three goats and a number of fowl, making for an extravagant feast.
Because Okonkwo is a strict adherent to tradition, he decides to throw a traditionally extravagant feast to thank his mother's family.
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As the oldest member of the extensive family, Uchendu breaks the kola nut before the feast, praying to the ancestors for health and children. The food is then laid out and everyone begins to eat. Towards the end of the meal, one of the oldest kinsmen rises to thank Okonkwo and to warn the younger generation about forgetting the bonds of kinship. He reiterates that he fears for the clan before again thanking Okonkwo for the feast.
The feast showcases many of the customs we are already familiar with from the book. Additionally, the old kinsman who makes the speech exhibits the importance of language by speaking at length to thank Okonkwo for the meal.
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