Things Fall Apart Chapter 24 Summary

Instructor: J.R. Hudspeth

Jackie has taught college English and Critical Thinking and has a Master's degree in English Rhetoric and Composition

In chapter twenty-four of ''Things Fall Apart,'' things have completely broken down between the village of Umuofia and the intruding English settlers. Read on for a brief summary of what happens next in this chapter.

Previously in Things Fall Apart...

Mr. Brown, one of the English settlers who has come to Nigeria, builds a Christian church in Umuofia. While he leads the church, relations between the Umuofians and the Christians are good, but once he leaves and is replaced by the more aggressive and culturally insensitive Reverend Smith, that relationship quickly disintegrates. A Christian convert insults and attacks a sacred Umuofian religious figure. In response, the Umuofians destroy the church. The English who have settled in the region arrest the leaders of Umuofia, including Okonkwo, for the destruction of the church and treat them poorly, beating them and extorting money from the Umuofians for their release.

Okonkwo: Ready for War

Okonkwo and the other five leaders of Umuofia are released from jail after a lecture from the English District Commissioner about obeying English law. The District Commissioner gives this lecture to make sure that the leaders of Umuofia understand that English law now rules the land rather than Umuofian law. The men, however, do not listen; they are enraged. Umuofian women and children who cross their paths on the way home say nothing and move away from them; the men walk in complete silence.

As they walk, many of the Umuofian men join them, also in silence. The men of the village appear to be together in solidarity. Eventually, the leaders of Umuofia return to their homes, followed by the rest of the men in the village. When Okonkwo gets home, he eats a dinner prepared by his daughter Ezinma, but he eats only to make her happy because of his closeness to her. Inside, he is prepared for a declaration of war against the English and is too upset and excited to eat.

At night, Okonkwo thinks about his imprisonment as he lays in bed, back sore from the places where the whip of the jailers cut into his skin while he was imprisoned. He has already prepared his war dress and weapons for what he believes is a certain war. The town crier walks through the village announcing a village-wide meeting for the next morning; Okonkwo resolves that if war is not declared at that meeting, he will get revenge against the English on his own. He is particularly worried about one potential speaker, Egonwanne, who is charismatic enough to have influence, but who also tends to argue against carrying out wars.

Okonkwo dreams of going to war against the English to drive them off of Umuofian land.
war

Okonkwo worries about the continual changing of Umuofia; he remembers a past war that Umuofia won against another village. Okonkwo feels upset that the men of Umuofia do not have the bravery that he believes that past generations did; however, Okonkwo also fails to realize how times have changed. Only fourteen people died in the past war between villages, but in a war against the English, the enemy would be more numerous and possess more (and stronger) guns.

Okonkwo continues to lie in bed, plotting revenge and thinking about how to argue against Egonwanne, as the town crier continues to call out the information about the meeting into the night air.

The Meeting

Okonkwo joins Obierika, his close friend, in the morning to attend the meeting, both men carrying their machetes with them. The meeting has attracted not only all of the Umuofians, but almost everyone from the other villages in the region. Okonkwo looks for Egonwanne, and when Obierika asks why, Okonkwo tells him of his concerns that Egonwanne will advocate against war. Okonkwo is so intense that he does not greet old friends; he just prepares to speak after Egonwanne if necessary to counter Egonwanne's words to the crowd with an argument of his own.

The meeting begins with a loud greeting followed by the first speaker, Okika. Okika was one of the other leaders of Umuofia who was imprisoned for the destruction of the Christian Church.

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