Things Fall Apart | Study Guide

Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart | Part 2, Chapter 14 | Summary

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Summary

In his motherland, Okonkwo is welcomed by Uchendu, his maternal uncle. He and his children give Okonkwo land and assist him in building a compound. They also supply him with seed-yams to plant his farm.

This new beginning requires hard work, which Okonkwo is always willing to do. Yet it no longer sparks the enthusiasm that Okonkwo once had. His goal had been to become one of the lords of the clan, and he was on the path to achieving it. However, the goal now seems very far away.

Uchendu is the family patriarch. One of his sons is marrying a new wife. Following the ceremony, Uchendu gathers everyone together and speaks to Okonkwo, reminding him that others have suffered. Uchendu's personal loss has been great, as he has buried five wives and 22 children. His message for Okonkwo is to accept his exile and make the best of it.

Analysis

Okonkwo has been a man of action up until this point. Work has been his coping mechanism and the force that allows him to overcome his poor upbringing. His new beginning requires a great deal of work, but he is unable to muster much enthusiasm.

Okonkwo is depressed. He has come to the conclusion that his personal god, or chi, is not destined for greatness. Okonkwo now disagrees with a saying of the elders, "If a man said yea his chi also affirmed." Until now, this belief has driven Okonkwo.

Uchendu notes that everyone suffers but that they must go on. He believes that Okonkwo is fortunate to have the support system of his motherland.

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