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Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe
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How is Okonkwo able to grow yams if he is located in Mbanta?

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In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is banished into exile for seven years after inadvertently killing a young clansman. He is sent to his mother’s homeland of Mbanta. Geographically, Mbanta and Umuofia are not that far from each other; indeed, they are both within Nigeria, so the...

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In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is banished into exile for seven years after inadvertently killing a young clansman. He is sent to his mother’s homeland of Mbanta. Geographically, Mbanta and Umuofia are not that far from each other; indeed, they are both within Nigeria, so the climate is very similar. This partly explains why Okonkwo is able to grow yams in Mbanta.

Another reason Okonkwo is able to grow yams in Mbanta is that his mother’s family helps him when he arrives in the region. Okonkwo is provided with a plot of land to grow his crops and his cousins gather seeds so that his family can do well while they are in exile.

“Each of Uchendu's five sons contributed three hundred seed-yams to enable their cousin to plant a far, for as soon as the first rain came farming would begin” (130).

 Initially, the weather does not seem like it will cooperate; however, the rains finally come to Mbanta and Okonkwo is able to successfully grow the yams his family needs throughout their time in banishment.

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