Things Fall Apart | Study Guide

Chinua Achebe

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Things Fall Apart Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 28 May 2022. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, July 28). Things Fall Apart Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 28, 2022, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "Things Fall Apart Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed May 28, 2022.


Course Hero, "Things Fall Apart Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed May 28, 2022,

Things Fall Apart | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Year that Okonkwo was 18

    Okonkwo throws Amalinze the Cat in a wrestling match and gains renown.

    Part 1, Chapter 1
  • 20 years later

    Okonkwo takes in Ikemefuna to live with his family.

    Part 1, Chapter 2
  • Three years later

    Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna despite being warned not to be involved.

    Part 1, Chapter 7
  • A few months later

    Okonkwo accidentally kills a fellow clansman and is exiled for seven years.

    Part 1, Chapter 13
  • Second year of exile

    The white man and the missionaries arrive in the Lower Niger.

    Part 2, Chapter 15
  • Fourth year of exile

    Nwoye moves away from his family and joins the Christians.

    Part 2, Chapter 17
  • Day of earth goddess ceremony

    Enoch unmasks an egwugwu and puts the clan into a frenzy.

    Part 3, Chapter 22
  • A few days later

    Okonkwo and five others are arrested and mistreated.

    Part 3, Chapter 23
  • The next day

    Okonkwo kills the court messenger.

    Part 3, Chapter 24

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Part 1, Chapter 1 The story is set in the fictional village of Umuofia, Nigeria, in the late 1890s. Okonkwo, the protagonist, is a member ... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 2 Night has fallen, and the clan is notified of a town meeting taking place the next morning. It is a quiet night, as the ... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 3 The narrative in this chapter takes readers back into Okonkwo's past. When Okonkwo is a boy, his father, Unoka, consults... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 4 Always impatient, Okonkwo insults an untitled tribesman at a clan meeting. Everyone takes the side of Osugo, the other m... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 5 Now it is time for the Feast of the New Yam. The celebration includes giving thanks to the earth goddess, feasting with ... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 6 The villagers gather at the ilo, or village square, to watch the wrestling matches. Early matches feature boys who are 1... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 7 After three years in Okonkwo's household, Ikemefuna has become like an elder brother to Nwoye. Okonkwo is pleased by the... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 8 Okonkwo does nothing but drink wine for two days. He calls for Nwoye, who leaves him when Okonkwo dozes off. Okonkwo can... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 9 Ekwefi bangs on Okonkwo's door in a panic. "Ezinma is dying," she wails. Okonkwo runs to Ekwefi's hut and declares that ... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 10 Crowds have assembled at the ilo (an open space where village gatherings are held) to view a trial that is taking place.... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 11 Ekwefi tells Ezinma a story about Tortoise, a cunning creature who outwits birds. Tortoise enjoys the best of a feast th... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 12 Chielo returns Ezinma to Okonkwo's compound. The narrator reveals that Okonkwo had "not slept at all [the night before].... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 13 Umuofia awakes to the news that Ezeudu, the clansman who told Okonkwo not to participate in Ikemefuna's execution, has d... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 14 In his motherland, Okonkwo is welcomed by Uchendu, his maternal uncle. He and his children give Okonkwo land and assist ... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 15 Obierika pays a visit in the second year of Okonkwo's exile, and the two men go to speak with Uchendu. Uchendu notes tha... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 16 Two years later, Obierika returns to Mbanta. Since his last visit, he reports, missionaries have arrived and built a chu... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 17 The missionaries have been preaching in the Mbanta marketplace. Now they request land and receive a plot in the Evil For... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 18 The church faces challenges because it welcomes osu, or outcasts. When two osu come to church, the congregation protests... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 19 Seven years have passed in Mbanta, and Okonkwo has prospered. However, he is anxious to return home, and "he [regrets] e... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 20 Ever since leaving Umuofia, Okonkwo has planned his return. He is determined to "regain the seven wasted years." Okonkwo... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 21 Many in the clan appreciate some of the changes brought by the white men, particularly the trading store and the money t... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 22 Mr. Brown leaves the village and is succeeded by Mr. Smith. Smith is a strict zealot and sees things "as black and white... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 23 Okonkwo is rejuvenated and feels the clan has reclaimed its old ways. He has convinced the men in Umuofia to arm themsel... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 24 Okonkwo and the others are set free. Wary clansmen do not welcome them but simply move out of their way. Okonkwo's male ... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 25 The District Commissioner descends on Okonkwo's compound with a group of soldiers and court messengers. He asks for Okon... Read More
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Things Fall Apart? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!