Specified quotes from "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. Categories are mood, silence, and father/son conflict.

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Things Fall Apart: Quote Hunt


-After Nwoye is lured into the Christian religion and abandons his culture and family, Okonkwo is ashamed and states, "you have all see the great abomination of your brother. Now he is no longer my son or your brother. I will only have a son who is a man, who will hold his head up among my people" (172). Nwoye's father disowns him only because he chooses a path untraditional to his culture. The serious, frustrated, and unhappy mood that is created in Okonkwo's statement gives the reader an idea of how much the Ibo culture values tradition, choice, and family.

-When Nwoye is informed of Ikemefuna's death, the narrator states, "a deathly silence descended on Okonkwo's compound...throughout the day, Nwoye sat in his mother's hut and tears stood in his eyes" (58). Achebe describes the character's emotions in order to display a sense of hopelessness and despair to the reader. The reader must empathize with such emotions and moods to truly see the rising difficulties each character has to face.

-Before the first messenger reported Ogbuefi's wife's murder, the reader takes notice to Okonkwo's primary thoughts when the narrator states, "he knew something was certainly amiss. He had discerned a clear overtone of tragedy in the crier's voice...Darkness held a vague terror for these people, even the bravest among them" (9). With this statement, Achebe creates a dark mood foreseeing events, but a pensive mood in regards to Okonkwo and his feelings. By entwining both moods, Achebe is able to convey how their culture is in tune with all events, present and future.

-A conflict rises between the newly established church and the native village; thankfully, the problem is resolved and people come to the conclusion that there is no need to fight. The narrator comments, "the death showed that the gods were still able to fight their own battles. The clan saw no reason then for molesting the Christians" (161). The tensions between the village and the new church is expected, therefore a mood of regularity and sympathy is set. Achebe is hinting that there should not be a certain religion forced on any civilization, that it should be a right to choose and not adhere to tradition; there is no need for conflict and Achebe is able to show a transformation in moods by using a series of events to convey his own thoughts and feelings.

-In the final section of the novel, after the seven years of exile had almost passed, the narrator describes Okonkwo's feelings of his homecoming when explaining, "even in his first year in exile he had begun to plan for his return. The first thing he would do would be to rebuild his compound on a more magnificent scale" (171). Achebe builds up a mood of happiness and excitement. This mood allows the reader to accept a different side of Okonkwo, enjoy his want for change, and anticipate his return.


-Preceding Ikemefuna's induction to the village, Okonkwo has a certain liking towards him, but the narrator give a refletion of Okonkwo's outer disposition when stating, "even Okonkwo himself became very fond of the boy--inwardly of course. Okonkwo never showed any emotion openly, unless it be the emotion of anger" (28). The narrator openly tells the reader than Okonkwo suppresses his emotions and removes himself from all feelings except for anger. Since Okonkwo is the main representation of masculinity in the novel, the hidden connotation the reader sees is that all men should stay silent and unexpressed unless it is to display anger and power.

-From the command of the oracle, Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna and Nwoye eventually discovers this act. The narrator describes, "He did not cry. He just hung limp" (61). Nwoye reflects the actions that of his father, he silences all emotions. Although Nwoye is opposite of his father, this event forces him to suppress his feelings, similar to what his father does. Achebe notes that actions and emotions should not be...
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