Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Things Fall Apart

Manpreet Grewal
Mrs. Bosch
English 10 Honors

Pages. 1-8
1. "And he did pounce on people quite often." (page. 4)

"If any money came his way, and it seldom did, he immediately bought gourds of palm-wine, called round his neighbors and made merry." (page. 4)

"Each group there represents a debt to someone, and each stroke is one hundred cowries." (page. 7)

"Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered." (page. 8)

2. Okonkwo is extremely strong, but it seems he doesn't exactly know how strong he is. He can beat up the strongest men, and yet when he loses his temper he must be hurting the others an awful lot. Unoka needs to start acting responsible, and get his life together. Even though he died, he did a terrible job raising his kids and wives. Okonkwo is a respected man in the village of Umuofia, and he certainly has his life together. He had worked hard in his life to get where he was at, and even though he is still young, people look up to him.

Pages. 9-17
1. "In Umuofia's latest war he was the first to bring home a human head." (Page. 10)

"Those sons of wild animals have dared to murder a daughter of Umuofia." (Page. 11)

"Umuofia was feared by all its neighbors." (Page. 11)

"And so the stranger had brought him, and a girl, a long, long way from home, through lonely forest paths." (Page. 15)

2. Okonkwo was the first man to bring home a human head, it is amazing how he is so strong. Umuofia is not a place where anyone wants to start trouble, they only have the best of the best with them. But I find it kind of rude how they just don't care for the people without a title. Mbaino made a huge mistake in murdering Ogbuefi Udo's wife, and they did have to pay a big price for it. I feel really bad for Ikemefuma and the young virgin, they didn't have a say in any of it. They must be extremely frightened and have no clue about what just took place.

Pages. 18-25
1. "He died of the swelling which was an abomination to the earth goddess." (Page. 18)

"I began to fend for myself at an age when most people still suck at their mothers' breast." (Page. 21)

"And what made it worse in Okonkwo's case was that he had to support his mother and two sisters from his meagre harvest." (Page. 22)

"Nothing happened at its proper time; it was either too early or too late." (Page. 23)

2. I find it crazy that they would just leave someone in the forest just to rot and die. That is not the way it should be, they should be getting medical attention or something. And Umuofia has the best medicine, so I don't understand how they can just do that to someone. I respect Okonkwo for his hard work and dedication. He worked hard at such a young age, and now he is at the top. All his determination to be successful and have something in life, payed off tremendously. It must have been hard for him, starting out with nothing, and the harvest he planted was still not a success. But Okonkwo didn't give up when the harvest didn't go his way, he stuck to it, just like a real man.

Pages. 26-33
1. "She has gone to plait her hair." (Page. 29)

"But Okonkwo was not the man to stop beating somebody half-way through, not even for fear of a goddess." (Page. 30)

2. The women should be able to do things for themselves too, they shouldn't just have to look after the men 24/7. He gets fed by two other wives, so it shouldn't make a difference if one wasn't there. He must be extremely angry to beat his wife during the "Week of Peace." Okonkwo should have thought about handling the situation in a different manner that didn't involve violence. The women should be taken upon with more respect, they help out the men and take care of household chores, and what do they get in the end, a beating. Everyone knows Okonkwo is a strong man, he doesn't need to prove himself over and over.

Pages. 34-41
1. "In the end he decided that Nnadi must live in that land of Ikemefuma's favorite story where the ant holds his court in splendor and the sands dance forever." (Page. 35)

"Neither of the wives dared to interfere beyond an occasional and tentative,"It is enough, Okonkwo," pleaded from a reasonable distance." (Page. 38)

2. The first quote confuses me a bit, I just thought Nnadi was someone in the stories they told. And I didn't think the stories were true, I just thought they were to entertain the little children. I might be misunderstanding the quote, but it does not make any sense to me. If I were in there position too, I would tell him to stop from a distance as well. Okonkwo is a strong man, and no one would want to mess with him. He has some anger issues though, and he needs to express his emotions, rather than just having them bundled up inside him.

Pages. 42-49
1. "All others stood except those who came early enough to secure places on the few stands which had been built by placing smooth logs on forked pillars." (Page. 46)

"Everybody soon knew who the boy was." (Page. 47)

2. Wrestling is a huge part of that community. Everybody loves to watch it, and once the boy wins, everybody knows who he is, and the main things about him. That is the main way to earn your title, or it just runs in the family. Even the women of the town enjoy watching the wrestling match; so basically everyone is there. I like how they have some events which bring the town together as one big family. There wrestling matches are just like our football games, you have to come early, otherwise there isn't a place to sit.

Pages. 50-58
1. "The elders said locusts came once in a generation, reappeared every year and then disappeared for another lifetime." (Page. 54)

"Later in the day he called Ikemefuna and told him that he was to be taken home the next day." (Page. 57)

"Throughout that day Nwoye sat in his mother's hut and tears stood in his eyes." (Page. 58)

2. As I was reading this first quote, I had no idea what a locust was, and I still don't. From what I've read, it sounds like a bird or something. Well if they eat it, it must be something worth while. Its not right how they don't even give Ikemefuna a choice in the whole matter. He made a completely new family, but they all love and care for him so much. Nwoye must me heart-broken, his best friend or brother is leaving him, forever. They should have never separated him from his original family, but again, he didn't have a choice.

Pages. 59-67
1. "My father, they have killed me!" as he ran towards him. (Page. 61)

"As soon as father walked in, that night, Nwoye knew that Ikememfuna had been killed, and something seemed to give way inside him, like the snapping of a tightened bow." (Page. 61)

2. Ikemefuna didn't do anything wrong to deserve a death he faced. He wasn't given a choice, nor did he ever see his family as he was told he was. It is unfair and cruel to kill someone the way they did. Okonkwo was a respected man, he should've stepped up and stopped them. Nwoye lost his best friend, and brother that night. I feel sorry for Ikemefuna's original family and his second family that he had gotten so close to; they couldn't do anything to stop the tragedy that happened that night. As I was reading this, I knew they were going to kill him from the very beginning. But injustice was brought upon Ikemefuna, and his family had to suffer.

Pages. 68-76
1.6 "Okonkwo was beginning to feel like his old self again. All that he required was something to occupy his mind." (Page. 69)

"She was about sixteen and just ripe for marriage." (Page. 71)

2. When Okonkwo just holds his feeling in, its just making it harder on himself. But he is smart for occupying himself, because that is the best way to keep your mind off someone. I can relate to him, because when my grandma had passed away, everyone kept on telling me to stay busy, and thats exactly what I did. Thinking about it only made me weaker. As time went on, it made it easier to remeber her and all the great times we had together, but its sad knowing you couldn't do anything to keep her here. She died of cancer, and in my opinion, that is the worst way! I'm just glad she is out of pain and in a better place now. =)
Back to the story, getting married at the age of sixteen is nothing new in India, my grandparents were married at that age as well. But over here, people would just think you were crazy if you got married at that age. In the novel, they are basically getting an arranged marriage, and I just hate the thought of it. Some people get lucky and live a happy life. I find it so weird how they live with a complete stranger and expect to have love after marriage. Its really weird! That is the exact same way my parents were, they got an arranged marriage and everything worked out perfectly for them, but times have changed and they still don't understand what I am talking about.

Pages. 77-85
1. "If you bring us all this way for nothing I shall beat sense into you," Okonkwo threatened. (Page. 82)

"All this happened more than a year ago and Ezinma had not been ill since." (Page. 85)

2. It was kind of funny when Ezinma took them to all those places, and the pebble was just next to the tree. They were all following her, thinking she was taking them there, but it seemed like she was just wandering around until she decided to actually show them where it was. The pebble they found must have been lucky or something. But I don't understand why they even burry it, what is the importance of that? Well the main thing is that everyone is good and healthy. When does Okonkwo not beat anyone, I found this section quite humerous.

Pages. 86-94
1. "Ezinma struggled to escape from the choking and overpowering steam, but she was held down. She started to cry." (Page. 86)

"Last year when my sister was recovering from an illness, he beat her again so that if the neighbors had not gone in to save her she would have been killed." (Page. 92)

"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." (Page. 93)

2. That is no way to treat an ill child, but I think they were looking out for her best interest. Okonkwo does like her, so I'm pretty sure he would never do anything to hurt her. In the second quote, I felt sorry for the poor girl, her husband needs to treat her with respect. It is crazy how they beat their wives to the extent that they can be killed. I would be terrified if I were in there place. A pot of wine better be a good price, because if it isn't, the guy isn't worth it at all! And it is not bravery when a man fights with a woman, I agree with that quote. All guys try to act big and bad in front of everyone, but fighting a woman, is just not right.

Pages. 95-103
1. "And so they each took a new name. When they had all taken, Tortoise also took one. He was to be called All of you." (Page. 97)

"But Tortoise jumped to his feet and asked: 'For whom have you prepared this feast?'
" 'For all of you,' replied the man.
"Tortoise turned to the birds and said: 'You remenber that my name is All of you." (Page. 98)

"Parrot promised to deliver the message, and then flew away. But when he reached Tortoise's house he told his wife to bring out all the hard things in the house." (Page. 99)

2. Tortoise is an extremely sneaky animal, he fooled all the birds. But what goes around comes around. The parrot taught him a lesson. This story was actually pretty funny, but I think I have heard a similar version of it. This story really caught my attention, and it shows me that they can also have a good time, and everything isn't just about work with them. They are an actual family that has respect for one another, and it just sounds different when I read it. But I did enjoy reading this section, it made me laugh a little.

Page. 104-112
1. And then the priestess screamed. "Somebody is walking behind me!" she said. "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!" (Page. 105)

A man stood there with a machete in his hand. Ekwefi uttered a scream and sprang to her feet. "Don't be foolish," said Okonkwo's voice. "I thought you were going into the shrine with Chielo," he mocked. (Page. 108)

"She had not as much as looked at Okonkwo and Ekwefi or shown any surprise at finding them at the mouth of the cave. She looked straight ahead of her and walked back to the village." (Page. 111)

2. The priestess is a crazy woman, its like she could sense things. She must have a lot of upper body strength to be caring around Ezinma on her back, and she was going at a really fast pace; it was almost like she was running. I would have been as terrified as Ekwefi was when she saw that big man, and I wouldn't know what to expect either. I had a feeling it was Okonkwo though, and it shows that he is a kind and considerate husband to be worried about his child and wife. The priestess is extremely strange, and she completed her task after walking through the forest, it felt like they were in there for so long as I was reading it.

Pages. 113-121
1. "But as he walked through the market he realized that people were pointing at him as they do to a madman. He could not understand it until he looked back and saw that what he led at the end of the tether was not a goat but a heavy log of wood." (Page. 114)

"They dare not bring fewer than thirty pots," said Okonkwo. "I shall tell them my mind if they do." (Page. 116)

At last the man was named and people sighed "E-u-u, Ezeudu is dead." A cold shiver ran down Okonkwo's back as he remembered the last time the old man had visited him. "That boy calls you father," he had said. "Bear no hand in his death." (Page. 121)

2. Poor guy, he didn't even realize what all the commotion was about, and it turned out it was about him all along. He must have felt like an idiot, I know that I would have felt like that. Thieves are so crazy, they can do anything. Okonkwo does hold his position with pride, and who could blame him, he came a long way and he deserved that spot. How did Okonkwo shoot that boy, I would have felt so guilty. Their customs and beliefs are ridiculous, they should be punished if they kill someone, they should'nt just have to leave the clan for a while. I also hate how they kill twins, they are being murdered for no reason at all. The Christians did a good thing by taking over. I'm done with the story so there aren't any more surprises for me!

Pages. 122-129
1. "All was silent. In the center of the crowd a boy lay in a pool of blood. It was the dead man's sixteen-year-old son, who with his brothers and half-brothers had been dancing the traditional farewell to their father. Okonkwo's gun had exploded and a piece of iron had pierced the boy's heart." (Page. 124)

"He had to return to the clan after seven years." (Page. 124)

"They set fire to his houses, demolished his red walls, killed his animals and destroyed his barn. It was the justice of the earth goddess, and they were merely her messengers." (Page. 125)

2. Okonkwo deserves a bigger punishment than just having to leave the clan for seven years. Killing an innocent person isn't something that should be taken lightly, it is a serious crime. But since they burned down his house and everything else he had, that maybe is punishment enough. I still can't understand how Okonkwo could be that careless, and its like he doesnt even care about what he's done. The poor guy was just making the best of his fathers death, and what does he get in return, he dies. That is not right at all!

Pages. 130-138
1. "They were hard and painful on the body as they fell, yet young people ran about happily picking up the cold nuts and throwing them into their mouths to melt." (Page. 130)

"How many men have lain with you since my brother first expressed the desire to marry you?" (Page. 132)

"If you think you are the greatest sufferer in the world ask my daughter, Akueni, how many twins she has borne and thrown away." (Page. 135)

2. The kids there must see hail only a few times if they're that excited. But thats good, atleast they are enjoying themselves. The second quote kind of shocked me, is it really any of there business to be asking such a personal question. Its not like they are the ones marrying her. Next, the third quote just makes me feel sorry for all the innocent children being killed. How do they just throw them away? I'm sure it must break the mother's hearts to do something like that, and yet they do it. There's also the news about Abame that I didn't include in the quotes section. There was no point in killing the man if he didn't cause any harm.

Pages. 139-146
1. "The three white men and a very large number of other men surrounded the market. They must have used a powerful medicine to make themselves invisible until the market was full. And they began to shoot. Everybody was killed, except the old and the sick who were at home and a handful of men and women whose chi were wide awake and brought them out of the market." (Pages. 139-140)

"Never kill a man who says nothing." (Pages. 140)

"He told them that they worshipped false gods, gods of wood and stone." (Page. 145)

2. That is the saddest thing I have read about so far. I once watched an Indian movie like that, and it was the most depressing movie ever. How can you kill hundreds of innocent people? The ones who stayed home were very lucky, but it is devastating to read about all the others. The second quote is spoken like a true wise man. Uchendu knows what he's talking about, he's experienced it all. The third quote is just disrespectful to the people who worship those Gods. Its not right to just tell them that their gods are fake and they should stop worshipping them. For as long as they lived, that was the god they worshipped, and its truly disrepectful to do something like that.

Pages. 147-154
1. "Let us give them a portion of the Evil Forest.'' (Page. 149)

"Nwoye turned round to walk into the inner compound when his father, suddenly overcome with fury, sprang to his feet and gripped him by the neck." (Page. 151)

2. Uchendu is very tricky and smart. Giving the white men the Evil Forest, I'm sure no one else would have even thought of that. But they thought it would give the white men diseases, but it never did. Nwoye disobeyed his father, so I can understand Okonkwo's feelings. But Nwoye was never appreciated by his father, so I feel kind of bad for him too. Well since I already read the story, I know everything that happened. So the ending isn't much of a surprise now.

Pages. 155-163
"He ordered the outcasts to have off their long, tangled hair. At first they were afraid they might die." (Page. 157)

"He had fallen ill on the previous night. Before the day was over he was dead. His death showed that the gods were still able to fight their own battles." (Page. 161)

2. The men of Mbanta shouldn't have to shave their hair if they want to convert. To them its just like telling them to kill the python. But I guess they might have to, converting was a serious thing at that time. I still think they shouldn't have to shave their hair though, who would want to? That is pretty crazy, Okoli died after he supposedly killed the sacred python. So I find it really weird how all of a sudden he fell ill, and next thing you know, he's dead. There's something really strange in that.

Pages. 164-172
1. "My mother's people have been good to me and I must show my gratitude." (Page. 165)

"If I say that we did not expect such a big feast I will be suggesting that we did not know how openhanded our son, Okonkwo, is. We all know him, and we expected a big feast. But it turned out to be even bigger than we expected." (Page. 166)

"But I fear for you young people because you do not understand how strong is the bond of kinship." (Page. 167)

"The clan was like a lizard; if it lost its tail it would soon grew another." (Page. 171)

2. That was very generous of Okonkwo to prepare such a grand feast for his mother's family. They all expected a lot from him since he was so wealthy, and he didn't disappoint them. He didn't want to leave them in an ordinary way, and it seems like he went a little overboard with the dinner. But I'm sure everyone appreciated his generocity. That is true, the young people don't understand how strong the bond of kinship is. And in my family, it seems like every generation understands the least. I understand all the traditions and customs of my Indian family, but my little sisters don't even know how to speak our language. It is a shame how they won't be able to carry on our tradition. I feel bad for Okonkwo, he lost his place in the community. But I'm sure it won't take long for him to climb up the ladder again.

Pages. 173-181
1. "There are many good and prosperous people here, but I shall be happy if you marry in Umuofia when we return home." (Page. 173)

"They were called kotma, and because of their ash-colored shorts they earned the additional name of Ashy-Buttocks." (Page. 174)

"The court messengers did not like to be called Ashy-Buttocks, and they beat the men." (Page. 175)

2. Ezinma sounds like a gorgeous young lady. It sounds like whoever gets to marry her is a lucky man. The kotma's have a funny name, the people who thought of that are pretty funny. I would have never came up with that. The Ashy-Buttocks are rude and cruel to all the prisoners. They don't have the right to beat the prisoners. The Christians need to respect the people some more.

Pages. 182-190
1. "Within a few weeks of his arrival in Umuofia Mr. Smith suspended a young woman from the church for pouring new wine into old bottles." (Page. 185)

"Mr. Smith stood his ground. But he could not save his church. When the egwugwu went away the red-earth church which Mr. Brown had built was a pile of earth and ashes." (Page. 191)

2. Mr. Smith shouldn't have suspended the young woman, he should have let her off with a warning. I'm pretty sure she doesn't need any other problems in her life, I mean what can be worse than a husband mutilating her dead child. Ajofia was brave to stand before Mr. Smith and defend his cultures and beliefs. But by burning down the Christians church, they are saying that they aren't afraid to do what they truely believe in. I respect their bravery. I really did not like the ending of this book.

Pages. 191-199
1. "Three days later the Dstrict Commissioner sent his sweet-tongued messesnger to the leaders of Umuofia asking them to meet him in his headquarters. That also was not strange. He often asked them to hold palavers, as he called them. Okonkwo was among the six leaders he invited." (Page. 193)

"It happened so quickly that the six men did not see it coming.....The six men were handcuffed and led into the guardroom." (Page. 194)

"If any man ill-treats you we shall come to your rescue." (Page. 194)

"As soon as the District Commissioner left, the head messenger, who was also the prisoners' barber, took down his razor and shaved off all the hair on the men's heads. They were still handcuffed, and they just sat and moped." (Pages. 194-195)

"The six men ate nothing throughout that day and the next. They were not even given any water to drink, and they could not urinate or go into the bush when they were pressed. At night the messengers came in to taunt them and to knock their shaven heads together." (Page. 195)

"They did not know that fifty bags would go to the court messengers, who had increased the fine for that purpose." (Page. 197)

2. From the very first quote, I sensed something fishy. I was correct too. They had been ill-treated the whole time and no one came to their rescue, in fact, their price was bumped up to two hundred and fifty bags of cowries. First, they disrespect the most wealthy and finest men of Umuofia. Then they shave their heads, which makes them bow their head in shame. Who could blame them, they basically took all their pride and dignity away from them. I could tell that the men would want revenge, but I had no idea about what was coming next. The six men were beaten, stolen of their pride, starved, and on top of all that, they had to pay a big price for their freedom. I shouldn't exactly say freedom either, because for them it is a living nightmare.!

Pages. 200-209
1. "In a flash Okonkwo drew his machete. The messenger crouched to avoid the blow. It was useless. Okonkwo's machete descended twice and the man's head lay beside his uniformed body." (Page. 204)

"Then they came to the tree from which Okonkwo's body was dangling, and they stopped dead." (Page. 207)

"That man was one of the greatest men in Umuofia. You drove him to kill himself, and now he will be buried like a dog. . . . . " (Page. 208)

"He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger." (Page. 209)

2. Okonkwo shouldn't have killed that man. But enough is enough, and there is a limit to how much a person can take. I just never thought he was a weak man who hangs himself, but I can see why he didn't want to be beaten and tortured by them. Poor Okonkwo, I never would have expected that. The last quote just confuses me, what was the point in writing that. It should have ended like this, "In the end, the Christians got everyone to convert. . . . "

But at last I am done.! Yay!!! =D

It was an alright book.. but I am glad I got it out of the way. =)

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