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Things Fall Apart Chapter 17 Notes


  • A plot of land in the evil forest, where the clan buried all of those who die of evil diseases, was given to the missionaries to build on. The clan thought for sure that they would not accept and leave, but they agreed to build.
  • Nwoye lived in year of his father so he kept his attraction to the new faith a secret. He did not want his father to beat him.
  • The people of Mbanta believed that their gods and ancestors would allow a man to defy them, but they would reach their limit at seven market weeks or twenty-eight days. The people believe that the gods will go after the missionaries after that time has passed.
  • The clan is pleased when people they don’t want anything to do with join the clan because they no longer have to worry about them.
  • When Okonkwo found out that Nwoye was among the Christians he did not move until Nwoye returned. He proceeded to grip Nwoye by the neck and ask where he had been. This demonstrates Okonkwo's physical anger.
  • Nwoye did not speak to Okonkwo because he knows no matter what he says his father will only get more angry. After his release he walked away and never returned to Okonkwo.
  • Nwoye believed that he would return later to his mother and his brothers and sisters to convert them to the new faith because he has such a kind heart.
  • Okonkwo feels that he is cursed for having Nwoye as a son even though he is very well behaved. Nwoye just doesn’t fit the manly profile that Okonkwo expects for a son.
  • Okonkwo begins to try and convince himself that he was not his son. I believe he sees behavior in his son like that of his father and is ashamed of having and raising him.
  • Okonkwo makes the comment about living fire putting out cold, useless ash. He feels that his living fire has had a useless Nwoye.


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