Things Fall Apart Chapter 23 Questions and Answers
by Chinua Achebe

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Chapter 23 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How does the District Commissioner coax the Igbo leaders?

2. What code of law does the District Commissioner use to judge the six Igbo leaders?

3. Why aren’t the leaders of Umuofia suspicious when the District Commissioner invites them to the courthouse?

4. What pretense does the District Commissioner use to bring his 12 men into the talks with the Igbo leaders?

5. The District Commissioner tells his men to treat the leaders of Umuofia with respect. Describe how the court messengers humiliate the leaders.

6. How does Okonkwo react to the way the court messengers treat him?

7. How is the story of the detained leaders elaborated by the villagers?

8. Why is Umuofia described like a startled animal with erect ears, sniffing the silent air, and not knowing where to run after her leaders are imprisoned?

9. Why does Ezinma break her long visit to her future husband’s family?

10. Why do the court messengers increase the fine from 200 bags of cowries to 250 bags of cowries?

Answers
1. The District Commissioner invites the leaders to talk like friends to ensure that the situation will not happen again.

2. The District Commissioner will administer justice according to the British code of law and “native” court system.

3. The men are not suspicious because the District Commissioner often calls the Igbo leaders together for discussions.

4. The District Commissioner says he wants his 12 men to hear the grievances of the Igbo leaders and take warning. He explains that many of his men come from distant places. Although they speak Igbo, they are ignorant of the customs of Umuofia.

5. One of the court messengers shaves off all the hair on the six leaders’ heads while they are still handcuffed. They insult and beat the leaders.

6. Okonkwo is choked with hate.

7. Some villagers say the families of the imprisoned leaders will be hanged. Others say soldiers are ready to massacre the people of Umuofia.

8. Umuofia is described like a startled animal because it is a full moon, yet the children’s voices are not heard on the playground. The women of Iguedo do not meet to learn their new dance, and young men who usually go abroad in moonlight stay home.

9. Ezinma returns home when she hears that her father has been imprisoned and is going to be hanged.

10. The court messengers increase the fine from 200 bags of cowries to 250 bags of cowries so they can skim 50 bags off the top of the fine. The people do not know that 50 bags will go directly to the court messengers.