LITR 5831 World / Multicultural Literature

Discussion-Leader Presentation

Joyce M. Strong

Reading Assignment: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

November 3, 2015


Okonkwo - Respected and influential leader of the Igbo tribe (main character)

Unoka - Okonkwo’s father

Ekwefi - Okonkwo’s second wife

Ojiubo- Okonkwo’s third wife

Nwoye- Okonkwo’s oldest son

Ezinma - Only child and daughter of Ekwefi and Okonkwo

Ikemefuna - a teen boy taken from the neighboring village of Mbaino to prevent war.

Obeirika - Okonkwo’s best friend in Umoufia

Ezeudu- Oldest man and clan leader in village and messenger for the Oracle

Chielo- Village widow and priestess

Agbala - The Oracle of the Hills and Caves




The rules and customs of the Igbo tribe


Okonkwo’s fear of being seen as weak and similar to his father

The fear of Gods among the Igbo tribe

Discussion Questions

1.      Things Fall Apart is taught in high schools and colleges across the United States. If someone read only one novel written by an African, that novel is usually Things Fall Apart. How many of you read it before? For which courses? What lessons, themes, emphases?

2.      In the colonization-independence-postcolonial sequence, when does this story occur? Pre-colonial? How does a pre-colonial position challenge or redevelop postcolonial studies?

3.      How are the women portrayed in Thing Fall Apart? (obj.4- observe representations or repressions of gender in male-dominant fields of cross-cultural contact)

4.      What does the term “chi” seems to symbolize?

5.      How does the novel mediate b/w a western reader and honest representation of Africa?

6. How does the novel achieve tragic depth or texture instead of just National Geographic picturesque?