Part One, Chapter 1 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why is Okonkwo’s defeat of Amalinze the Cat such a great achievement?

2. Describe Okonkwo.

3. What does Unoka do with his money?

4. What is the harmattan?

5. Why does Unoka sing to the kites?

6. Why does Unoka enjoy playing music for the egwugwu, or the masqueraders who impersonate the ancestral spirits of the village?

7. What is the meaning of the proverb “He who brings kola brings life”? (p. 5)

8. Why is Okonkwo ashamed of his father, Unoka?

9. Compare Okonkwo with his father.

10. Why is Ikemefuna offered to the village of Umuofia?

Answers
1. The Cat, the greatest wrestler in the region, was unbeaten for seven years.

2. Okonkwo is huge with bushy eyebrows and a wide nose. He breathes heavily and seems to walk on springs as if he is about to pounce on someone. He has no patience with unsuccessful men like his father.

3. Unoka buys gourds of palm wine and drinks with his neighbors.

4. The harmattan is a dry wind that blows across West Africa from the north.

5. Unoka loves to sing a welcome to the birds, or kites, who return to the village from their long journey south.

6. Unoka enjoys eating and drinking at the feasts.

7. The kola nut is a symbol of hospitality and friendship.

8. Okonkwo’s father has no titles; he is heavily in debt when he dies.

9. Okonkwo washes his hands of his father’s failures and becomes a leader in the community.

10. Ikemefuna is offered to Umuofia by the neighboring village of Mbaino as a compensation in order to avoid war.