70 there were seven men in obierikas hut when okonkwo

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70 “There were seven men in Obierika’s hut when Okonkwo returned.” Having seven men involved in the engagement ceremony suggest perfection and completeness in the marriage. 77 “The birth of her children…became for Ekwefi mere physical agony devoid of promise. The naming ceremony after seven market weeks became an empty ritual.” Waiting for seven weeks to name a child indicates that the Ibo were patient, willing to allow the characteristics of the child to emerge before giving him or her a name that equals his or her personality and heritage. 119 “The night was already far spent when the guests rose to go, taking their bride home to spend seven market weeks with her suitor’s family.” The bride spent seven weeks getting to know her future family; here again the number suggests the completion of a perfect family. 133 “He does not belong here. He is an exile, condemned for seven years to live in a strange land.” Waiting seven years to return home appears to be punishment, but it is representative of the cycle that is needed to cleanse the land and purge any hostility from the “criminal” and the victims. 150 “It was well known among the people of Mbanta that their gods and ancestors were sometimes long-suffering and would deliberately allow a man to go on defying them. But even in such cases they set their limit at seven market weeks or twenty-eight days.” Seven appears to symbolize patience in this novel. The length of time allows for the members of the Ibo to gain knowledge, experience, and patience before making any decisions or taking action.
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Name: ________________________________ Date:_________________ SYMBOLISM CHART S - 103 Reproducible Student Worksheet Student’s Page Things Fall Apart Page # Reference Explanation 3 46 54 70 77 119 133 150
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T - 104 © Copyright 2005, Prestwick House, Inc. Teacher’s Page Things Fall Apart Chapters 14-19 Review Objective: Increasing comprehension and retention through discussion questions Activity Answer each question thoroughly. 1. The first part of the novel reveals a functioning culture complete with its successes and faults. In Part Two, the reader sees that things are indeed beginning to fall apart. What has caused Okonkwo’s life to unravel? What has caused the Ibo culture to begin to erode? Part Two opens with the picture of a man wallowing in self-pity and embarrassed because he has been forced to live in his mother’s homeland. “His life had been ruled by a great passion—to become one of the lords of his clan.… Then everything had been broken. He had been cast out of his clan like a fish onto a dry, sandy beach, panting.” (Pg. 131) Even after Uchendu explains to Okonkwo the benefits of living in Mbanta, Okonkwo still feels sorry for himself and counts the days to when he can return to Umuofia. The news that his own son has joined the missionaries disturbs Okonkwo‚ but he declares “his Nwoye was not worth fighting for.” (Pg. 152) The reader is not surprised by Okonkwo’s actions when he overextends himself to prepare a huge, impressive going away feast for his kinsmen and tribesmen. Okonkwo’s life has been changed forever. The same can be said for the Ibo. The advent of the
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