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Things Fall Apart Chapter Twenty-Five Summary - Shmoop

Date of publication: 2017-08-17 05:33

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Ikemefuna stays with Okonkwo&rsquo s family for three years. Nwoye looks up to him as an older brother and, much to Okonkwo&rsquo s pleasure, develops a more masculine attitude. One day, the locusts come to Umuofia they will come every year for seven years before disappearing for another generation. The village excitedly collects them because they are good to eat when cooked.

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Okonkwo wonders about the nature of the town meeting, guessing, perhaps, that it will bring news of a war. These thoughts cause him to reflect on his recent successes, and to offer a brazen confidence in future battles.

SparkNotes: Things Fall Apart: Plot Overview

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The structural importance of proverbs is particularly important to note, because of how they operate differently from metaphorical or allegorical language the reader might expect in their place. Proverbs are similar to these devices because they use language or an image from another realm to reflect on an event, but they are tied to a specific shared cultural history—whereas metaphoric language tends to value originality and departure from shared history. Achebe thus fuses local artistic tradition with the form of the novel—which derives from European heritage—to fashion his own hybrid work.

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The implication was that such questions were trite, if not ridiculous. On display in that moment was a trait that friends, rivals, and former colleagues all say is Williams&rsquo Achilles' heel, the blind spot that set in motion his staggering fall from grace. Every time Williams&rsquo decision-making came under critical examination -- whether by peers or the media -- he recoiled and blamed his problems on outside forces that were surely conspiring against him. &ldquo He just didn&rsquo t understand the stage that he was on,&rdquo said one former high-ranking city prosecutor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. &ldquo He always felt that the scrutiny was undeserved.&rdquo

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This passage shows both the importance of tradition in Mbanta society and the significant threat posed by the arrival of the white men. Although the reflection may be prompted by how well Okonkwo has observed traditional practices, its very articulation in the ritual points to a pervasive anxiety about the “abominable religion.” Thus even when Christianity is not directly present in the text, it holds a ghostly cultural power due to the fear it has provoked.

The novel attempts to repair some of the damage done by earlier European depictions of Africans. But this recuperation must necessarily come in the form of memory by the time Achebe was born, the coming of the white man had already destroyed many aspects of indigenous culture.

In recounting the story, Okonkwo poses a complex question about the fate of the Abame clan. Ironically, it was in following their Oracle’s orders that the men brought about their destruction—but it remains unclear what this implies. Either they they misinterpreted the Oracle, acted according to fate, or followed mistaken advice from the Oracle. In the first case, we could say that the men reacted overly violently to what was only a warning in the second, the Oracle’s comment on “harbinger” and “locusts” implied that the men could not be stopped, no matter what in the third, the entire spiritual system would seem fated for collapse. In a sense all three are true, as will play out in the coming chapters.

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