What is the denouement of the novel Things Fall Apart?

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A denouement is the final outcome of a story which generally occurs after the climax. Unresolved events and missing pieces of the story are clarified in the denouement. In the novel Things Fall Apart, the climax occurs when Okonkwo beheads one of the white messengers who was sent to stop the Umuofia people from an eventual uprising. The denouement begins when Okonkwo realizes that none the villagers support him, and he knows that the people will not go to war against the colonial government. The District Commissioner travels to Okonkwo's compound to arrest him, only to find out that Okonkwo has hung himself. Okonkwo chose to commit suicide rather than be tried in a colonial court. Obierika comments that it is an abomination for a man to take his own life and says that Okonkwo's body is evil. The villagers pay the foreigners to bury Okonkwo's body, and Obierika tells the District Commissioner that he drove Okonkwo to kill himself. Obierika says that Okonkwo will be buried like a dog, and his legacy is tarnished forever. The District Commissioner finds the story about Okonkwo killing the messenger and hanging himself to be interesting. He is writing a book entitled The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger and thinks that he may even dedicate a whole chapter to Okonkwo's story, but then concludes that a mere paragraph would be reasonable.