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THINGS FALL APART CHAPTER NOTES
The church continues to carry on its activities and even begin rescuing the twins from the forest. Eventually rumors begin to circulate that the church has set up its own government. Although the two communities have remained separated from one another for a while, now several converts come into the village and threaten that they will burn the shrines of false gods. Several clan members beat the converts and then a long period of silence occurs between them while the clan ignores their activities.
However, a problem arises when the outcasts or the osu of the village begin entering the church, seeing that the new religion welcomes twins. These outcasts live in the Evil Forest and cannot marry a free person or cut their hair. When the other converts raise a hue and cry about their appearance at the church, Mr.Kiaga explains that nobody is a slave before God, and that all men are created free and equal. Some converts wish to go back to their clan, but Mr.Kiaga is firm and the converts accept this tolerant doctrine. The outcasts are also accepted.
A year later when one of the outcasts is rumored to have killed the royal python, the most revered animal in Mbanta, an assembly is formed to decide the course of action. In the end they decide to ostracize the Christians. The Christian community, which has now become a large group, are considered outlawed and are debarred from entering the market or collecting water. Okoli denies that he has killed this sacred animal and Mr.Kiaga tries to solve the problem, but by the end of the day, Okoli has died. The villagers believe that the Gods have taken their revenge and therefore they do not have any reason left for harassing the Christians.
This chapter highlights the delicate balance and the increasing conflict growing between these two disparate groups. Although they attempt to avoid each other, inevitably when they cross paths, they have violent encounters. More and more the church and its converts are becoming increasingly aggressive towards the clan and its traditions, ridiculing and degrading its customs and holy objects. With more of the clan crossing over into Christianity, the village is becoming less powerful and unified. Even Okonkwo acknowledges the power the church has in increasing its numbers and worries that his family will eventually jettison the traditional Igbo ways.
His anger towards the Christians is extreme and reveals his separation from other clan members. He looks for violent solutions whereas they are willing to condone the actions of the church. Again he frames his solutions for what is to be done as being either “womanly” or “manly.”
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. 09 May 2017