Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Chapter 9 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Describe the story Okonkwo’s mother used to tell him that explained why mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears.

2. Give two examples proving that the relationship between Ezinma and Ekwefi was a companionship of equals.

3. Why did Ekwefi stay with her people during her third pregnancy?

4. How was Ekwefi’s despair reflected in the names she gave her children?

5. Describe the medicine man famous for his knowledge of ogbanje children.

6. Why did the medicine man drag the corpse of the dead ogbanje child into the Evil Forest?

7. Why did Ekwefi grow bitter about her own chi?

8. Why did Ezinma take the medicine man and her family through the bush and back to the homestead in order to find the iyi-uwa?

9. As Ezinma and Ekwefi are cooking yams, they discuss the fact that large quantities of vegetables cook down to smaller quantities by telling the story of the snake-lizard. Why did the snake-lizard kill his mother and himself?

10. Why does Okonkwo tell Ekwefi to watch the medicine pot carefully?

Answers
1. When Mosquito asked Ear to marry him, she fell on the floor laughing. Ear thought Mosquito looked like a skeleton and insinuated that he would not live much longer. Mosquito was humiliated, so any time he passes by, he tells Ear that he is still alive.

2. Ezinma does not call her mother Nne like other children. She calls her by her name. They share secrets like eating eggs together.

3. The medicine man said Ekwefi would trick the wicked ogbanje and break the cycle of birth and death if she stayed with her people during her pregnancy.

4. Ekwefi’s despair was reflected in the following names she gave her children: Onwumbiko “Death I implore you;” Ozoemena “May it not happen again;” and Onwuma “Death may please himself.”

5. The medicine man was striking. He was very tall; he had a full beard and a bald head. He was light in complexion, and his eyes were fiery.

6. The medicine man dragged the dead child into the...

(The entire section is 503 words.)