Read and annotate the passage below from Things Fall Apart.
Write a commentary on this passage where you discuss:
the content of the passage
the effects (and/or intentions behind) choices the author has made in constructing this passage
the relationship between this passage and the rest of the novel.
In your commentary, consider discussing the following (these are not required topics):
How the reader learns about the characters in this passage
How characters and/or their relationships change in this passage
How important ideas or thematic subjects are explored in this passage
How literary devices are used in this passage (such as metaphor, allusion, motif, tragic conventions, tone, mood, juxtaposition, irony or symbolism)
Your commentary should be 500-700 words in length.
This summative assignment will be scored in:
Criterion A (Knowledge and Understanding)
Criterion D (Language)
They then set about painting
themselves with cam wood and drawing beautiful black pat-
terns on their stomachs and on their backs. The children were
also decorated, especially their hair, which was shaved in
beautiful patterns. The three women talked excitedly about 5
the relations who had been invited, and the children revealed
in the thought of being spoiled by these visitors from the
motherland. Ikemefuna was equally excited. The New Yam
festival seemed to him to be a much bigger event here than in
his own village, a place which was already becoming remote 10
and vague in his imagination.
And then the storm burst. Okonkwo, who had been
walking about aimlessly in his compound in suppressed anger,
suddenly found an outlet.
“Who killed this banana tree?” he asked. 15
A hush fell on the compound immediately.
“Who killed this tree? Or are you all deaf and dumb?”
As a matter of fact the tree was very much alive.
Okonkwo’s second wife had merely cut a few leaves off it to
wrap some food, and she said so. Without further argument 20
Okonkwo gave her a sound beating and left her and her only
daughter weeping. Neither of the other wives dared to inter-
fere beyond an occasional and tentative, “It is enough,
okonkwo,” pleaded from a reasonable distance.
His anger thus satisfied, Okonkwo decided to go out 25
hunting. He had an old rusty gun made by a clever blacksmith
who had come to live in Umuofia long ago. But although
Okonkwo was a great man whose prowess was universally
acknowledged, he was not a hunter. In fact he had not killed a
rat with his gun. And so when he called Ikemefuna to fetch his 30
gun, the wife who had just been beaten murmured something
about guns that never shot. Unfortunately for her, Okonkwo
heard it and ran madly into his room for the loaded gun, ran
out again and aimed at her as she clambered over the dwarf
wall of the barn. He pressed the trigger and there was a loud 35
report accompanied by the wail of his wives and children. He
threw down the gun and jumped into the barn, and there lay
the woman, very much shaken and frightened but quite un-
hurt. He heaved a heavy sigh and went away with the gun.