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Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe

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Chapter 16 Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. How do the leaders of Umuofia feel about the new religion?

2. What does Chielo, the priestess of Agbala, mean when she calls the converts “the excrement of the clan”? (p. 101)

3. Why doesn’t Okonkwo want to speak to Obierika about Nwoye?

4. Why do the Igbo people laugh at the interpreter even though he is speaking Igbo?

5. What is an iron horse?

6. Why are the people excited by what the missionary says?

7. Why do the men of Umuofia laugh at the missionary?

8. Why does Okonkwo stay and listen to the missionary?

9. How does the interpreter explain that the true God has a son but no wife?

10. How does Nwoye feel when he hears the Christians’ hymn?

1. Christianity is a source of great sorrow to the leaders of Umuofia, but many believe the faith will not last.

2. When Chielo calls the converts “the excrement of the clan,” she means that they are the outcasts and the lowest members of the clan. (p. 101)

3. Okonkwo does not want to speak to Obierika about Nwoye because he is so furious with his son. Obierika learns the story from Nwoye’s mother.

4. The interpreter is from a different region, and he speaks a different dialect. Instead of referring to himself as “myself,” he refers to himself as “my buttocks.” This makes everyone laugh. (p. 102)

5. An iron horse is a bicycle.

6. The people are excited because the missionary says he is going to live with the Igbo people.

7. The men of Umuofia laugh at the missionary when he says that all the Igbo gods are harmless.

8. Okonkwo stays and listens to the missionary because he hopes the Igbo people will chase him out of town or whip him.

9. The interpreter cannot explain why the Christian God has a son but no wife.

10. When he hears the Christians’ hymn, Nwoye feels relief pouring into his parched soul. The words of the hymn are like the drops of frozen rain melting on the dry earth.

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