Chapter six 1 what is significant about the number of

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with one’s legs together could also refer to a young woman’s sexual purity. Chapter Six 1. What is significant about the number of drums used at the wrestling? “There were seven drums and they were arranged according to their sizes in a long wooden basket.” This number is significant because it relates to the “perfect number” that Achebe has referenced throughout the novel. The number relates to religion and, in this instance, the wrestling matches and the role they play in the Umuofian culture is as important as religion. 2. What do Okonkwo’s springing to his feet and then sitting immediately imply? Okonkwo springs to his feet to show his enthusiasm for how quickly the wrestler bested his opponent. He quickly sits down again because he feels that it is womanly to show emotion, even enthusiasm for an athletic victory.
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13 Things Fall Apart TEACHER COPY STUDY GUIDE 3. Explain the literary device Achebe uses in the following line: “The air, which had been stretched taut with excitement, relaxed again.” The line is a metaphor in which the air of expectation and anticipation—exacerbated by the drumming—has been relaxed by the drummers’ taking a break. The ambience itself is compared to a drum, a skin stretched taut over its frame. 4. Who is Chielo? Chielo is the woman to whom Ekwefi is speaking. She has two lives—one life is when she is a widow with two children. In her second life, Chielo is the priestess of Agbala. 5. Discuss the type of language that Achebe uses to describe the fight and how this might add to the importance of this scene. The language that Achebe uses is vividly descriptive. The sentences tend to be longer than in other parts of the novel. Achebe juxtaposes short and long sentences in order to mimic the give and take of the wrestling match. He includes several literary techniques in the form of similes and metaphors. He also includes a song that the women sing after the match. The language helps Achebe illustrate the richness of Ibo language and culture, which European writers failed to recognize. Chapter Seven 1. At the beginning of this chapter, the narrator states: “He grew rapidly like a yam tendril in the rainy season, and was full of the sap of life.” Of whom is he speaking? What does this image indicate about this person? The narrator is speaking about Ikemefuna. The image suggests that Ikemefuna has functioned well in Umuofia society. He is growing both physically and emotionally. 2. How does Okonkwo feel about Ikemefuna and the relationship that he has developed with his Nwoye? Okonkwo is pleased with Ikemefuna, specifically because he feels that Ikemefuna has had a positive influence on his son. Okonkwo thinks that Ikemefuna is responsible for Nwoye’s newfound appreciation for more masculine stories.
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14 Things Fall Apart TEACHER COPY STUDY GUIDE 3. What line in the first page of the chapter would indicate that Nwoye is only acting in a certain way in order to appease his father?
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Christopher Reinemann
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