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Things Fall Apart Chapter 15.

The Arrival of the "White Men".
by

Nathalie Darsey

on 13 September 2012

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Transcript of Things Fall Apart Chapter 15.

The Arrival of the "white man". Things Fall Apart Chapter 15. Obierika visits Okonkwo and brings him some cowries. After they situate themselves, they perform and participate in common ceremony of splitting the kola nut and drinking palm wine. They talk about how people used to travel between villages more often and how they had more associates in those villages than they do now. They mention one village in particular, Abame, which was wiped out. It all started when an "albino" man came to their village on an "iron horse". They consulted their Oracle about him, who said that his kind would bring destruction to their village, so they killed him and tied his iron horse to their sacred tree. They mentioned how the man said nothing before he died , which meant danger. Sure enough, a few days later 3 more "albino" men came to Abame and saw what they had down to the other man and his "iron horse", and left without speaking a word. A few weeks later on an Afo-day, the 3 men and a vast number of other "albino" men came with guns, surrounded the market place in which all the clans gathered, and shot everyone there. The only survivors were the ones who stayed at home. After saying their thanks to one another, they end their conversation and go about their ways. What Happens in the Chapter. Ibo's Perspectives of the "White Man". " And he was riding an iron horse. The first people who saw him ran away, but he stood beckoning to them. In the end the fearless ones went near and even touched him. The elders consulted their Oracle and it told them that the man would break their clan and spread destruction among them" (Achebe 58).
" And so they killed the white man and tied his iron horse to their sacred tree because it looked as if it would run away to call the man's friends" (Achebe 58-59).
" But I am greatly afraid. We have heard stories about white men who made the powerful guns and the strong drinks and took slaves away across the seas, but no one thought the stories were true" (Achebe 59). Citations. Obierika proves to a good friend to Okonkwo by bringing him cowries in hard times, and keeping him informed about news from other villages. He also tells Okonkwo to take caution, by telling him about the incident at Abame. He also gives the cowries to Okonkwo without asking any form of compensation. How Obierika proves to be a good friend to Okonkwo. " ' That is the money from your yams,'" he said. " I sold the big ones as soon as you left. Later on I sold some of the seed-yams and gave out others to sharecroppers. I shall continue to do that every year until you return. But I thought you would need the money now and so I brought it. Who knows what may happen tomorrow? Perhaps green men will come to our clan and shoot us" (Achebe 60).
" ' I do not know how to thank you.' 'I can tell you,' said Obierika. 'Kill one of your sons for me.' 'That will not be enough,' said Okonkwo. 'Then kill yourself,' said Obierika. 'Forgive me,' said Okonkwo, smiling. 'I shall not talk about thanking you any more' " (Achebe 60). Citations. The Ibo's perspective of the "white man" is a negative one. They distrust the"white man" and are very wary of his kind. This shown by the villagers of Abame running away from him in the beginging and then killing him in the end. It is also shown by Obierika stating his worry and fear that the stories of white men taking slaves away across the seas, might be true. It is usure whether Umofia's and Okonkwo's perspective is a purely negative one, but we are certain that he is wary of them and feels rather suspicious toward them. He tries to explain that is more dangerous to harm (especially kill) someone who is silent than it is to someone who shouts. There is always something inauspicious about that silence. What Uchendu Tries to Teach His Family Through the Folk Tale of Mother Kite. "Never kill a man who says nothing. Those men from Abame were fools" (Achebe 59).
" There is something ominous about the silence" (Achebe 59).
"There is nothing to fear from someone who shouts. Those men from Abame were fools" (Achebe 59). Citations. Oracle - A priest or priestess acting as a medium through whom advice or prophecy was sought from the gods in classical antiquity.
Obi - house
Ominous - Giving the impression that something bad unpleasant is going to happen.
Inauspicious - not conductive to success. Vocabulary. The "iron horse". Sacred Tree. Kola Nut. Palm Wine. Good example of figurative language. Good example of figurative language. Theme- Don't be too rash and judge people too quickly. There is foreshadowing within this chapter. It foreshadows that more "white men are going to come". Motif- The Ibo's perspective of the "white man". Example of allusion.
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