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In Things Fall Apart, why did Okonkwo beat his youngest wife Ojiugo and shoot at Ekwefi?

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ruchinka | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted May 26, 2012 at 3:05 AM via web

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In Things Fall Apart, why did Okonkwo beat his youngest wife Ojiugo and shoot at Ekwefi?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted May 26, 2012 at 5:02 PM (Answer #1)

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In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo's youngest wife Ojiugo decides to have her hair braided during the Week of Peace. She decides to have her hair braided instead of cooking dinner. Okonkwo is furious with Oijugo. He beats her during the Week of Peace because she neglected to cook dinner. He is supposed to observe the Week of Peace with no violent behavior. Okonkwo shamefully beats his youngest wife for her negligence in not preparing dinner. The priest demands that Okonkwo will pay a fine for breaking the peace during the sacred time known as the Week of Peace. 

During the New Yam Festival, Okonkwo becomes angry when he has nothing to do. He beats Ekwefi. He accuses her of killing a banana tree. Okonkwo has anger issues and cannot rest during festivals when there is no work to do. Okonkwo relieves his stress by beating his wives and children:

He rules his family unit with an iron fist and expects everyone to act on his commands.

Okonkwo plans to go hunting. He is not a very good hunter and Ekwefi makes a snide remark because she is upset with Okonkwo for beating her. She claims that his gun never shoots. Okonkwo, in anger to her snide remark, fires his gun at her but misses. 

 

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