Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In "Things Fall Apart", what is the crime that causes Okonkwo and his family to be banished?

In "Things Fall Apart", what is the crime that causes Okonkwo and his family to be banished?

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write9,634 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

In Chapter 13, the entire clan attends Ezeudu's funeral, where the men paint their bodies, beat ancient drums, fire rifles into the air, and brandish their machetes as they dance around to celebrate Ezeudu's life. During the frenzy, Okonkwo fires his gun and accidentally shoots and kills Ezeudu's sixteen-year-old son. Okonkwo's accidental murder is considered a crime against the earth goddess and he is forced to flee Umuofia immediately. Ironically, Okonkwo commits a female crime because the murder had been inadvertent. As punishment for his female crime, Okonkwo is banished from Umuofia for seven years. That night, Okonkwo and his family gather their belongings and embark on the journey to his mother's homeland of Mbanta, which is a little village just beyond the borders of Mbaino. The next day, Okonkwo's entire compound is destroyed and his livestock is killed as justice for the earth goddess.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write1,918 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

Ezendu was the oldest man is Okonkwo's village. Earlier, he warned Okonkwo not to take part in the killing of Ikemefuna, a warning Okonkwo ignores. When Ezendu dies, Okonkwo’s gun accidentally explodes during the Ezendu's funeral rite, The shot accidently kills Ezeudu’s son. Okonkwo’s crimes enrage the Earth Goddess Ani, for he has consciously and unconsciously chosen death by beating his wife, killing Ikemefuna, and now, killing Ezeudu’s son. His rash actions are destroying the moral fabric of traditional life. Therefore, Ani banishes Okonkwo to Mbanta, his mother’s village, for seven years.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial