Things Fall Apart Questions and Answers
by Chinua Achebe

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What does the incident involving the priestess of Agbala reflect about the values of the culture in Things Fall Apart?

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Chielo, a village woman, is also the priestess of Agbala and the Oracle of the Hills and Caves. During the times when she is seized by the spirit of Agbala, she becomes very powerful. The other villagers are expected to comply with her requests or demands.

Ezinma, the young daughter of Okonkwo and Ekwefi, has been ill and may be near death. One night, Agbala, through Chielo, wants to take Ezinma to the edge of town, to Agbala’s sacred cave. She does so despite the mother’s objections. She carries the child all around the villages before they reach the caves. Chielo blesses the girl and converses with her god in the caves.

All the while, Ekwefi has been worried and has followed them. When they disappear through a small opening into the cave, she stays outside, alert for her daughter’s cry. If she hears it, “she would rush to defend her against all the gods in the world. She would die with...

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