Mr. Fornnarino's English 2, Practice Quiz 27 for ELL Students

This space contains reference material beginning next to Question 11.









































































































To answer Questions 11-16, please read the following passage from Chapter 11 of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Choose the best responses to the prompts next to the passage. There is one and only one correct answer to each prompt.


Chapter 11, pages 107-108

“Ekwefi could already see the hills looming in the moonlight. They formed a circular ring with a break at one point through which the foot-track led to the centre of the circle.


As soon as the priestess stepped into this ring of hills her voice was not only doubled in strength but was thrown back on all sides. It was indeed the shrine of a great god. Ekwefi picked her way carefully and quietly. She was already beginning to doubt the wisdom of her coming. Nothing would happen to Ezinma, she thought. And if anything happened to her could she stop it? She would not dare to enter the underground caves. Her coming was quite useless, she thought.


As these things went through her mind she did not realize how close they were to the cave mouth. And so when the priestess with Ezinma on her back disappeared through a hole hardly big enough to pass a hen, Ekwefi broke into a run as though to stop them. As she stood gazing at the circular darkness which had swallowed them, tears gushed from her eyes, and she swore within her that if she heard Ezinma cry she would rush into the cave to defend her against all the gods in the world. She would die with her.


Having sworn that oath, she sat down on a stony ledge and waited. Her fear had vanished. She could hear the priestess' voice, all its metal taken out of it by the vast emptiness of the cave. She buried her face in her lap and waited.


She did not know how long she waited. It must have been a very long time. Her back was turned on the footpath that led out of the hills. She must have heard a noise behind her and turned round sharply. A man stood there with a machete in his hand. Ekwefi uttered a scream and sprang to her feet.


‘Don't be foolish,’  said Okonkwo's voice. ‘I thought you were going into the shrine with Chielo,’ he mocked. Ekwefi did not answer. Tears of gratitude filled her eyes. She knew her daughter was safe.”


Note: The passage says that it was night, but the moonlight showed Ekwefi a foot-track leading from the hills into the center of the circle they made.


The circle of hills made the voice of the priestess loud. Ekwefi walked quietly. She thought that her coming might not help Ezinma.


Ekwefi saw that the priestess carrying Ezinma was near the opening of a cave. Ekwefi ran to stop them from going into the cave. Ekwefi thought that if her daughter cried, she would go into the cave. She promised to die with her daughter.


Ekwefi sat by the cave and waited.


Her back was to the foot-path. She heard a noise, turned around, and saw a man with a machete. She screamed and jumped up.


Okonkwo told her to not be a fool. He said he thought she was going in with Chielo. Ekwefi's eyes filled with tears, and she knew her daughter was safe.





To answer Questions 17-21, please read the following passage from Chapter 13 of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Choose the best responses to the prompts next to the passage. There is one and only one correct answer to each prompt.



Chapter 13, Pages 124-125

“Darkness was around the corner, and the burial was near. Guns fired the last salute and the cannon rent the sky. And then from the centre of the delirious fury came a cry of agony and shouts of horror. It was as if a spell had been cast. All was silent. In the centre of the crowd a boy lay in a pool of blood. It was the dead man's sixteen-year-old son, who with his brothers and half-brothers had been dancing the traditional farewell to their father. Okonkwo's gun had exploded and a piece of iron had pierced the boy's heart.


The confusion that followed was without parallel in the tradition of Umuofia. Violent deaths were frequent, but nothing like this had ever happened.


The only course open to Okonkwo was to flee from the clan. It was a crime against the earth goddess to kill a clansman, and a man who committed it must flee from the land. The crime was of two kinds, male and female. Okonkwo had committed the female, because it had been inadvertent. He could return to the clan after seven years.


That night he collected his most valuable belongings into head-loads. His wives wept bitterly and their children wept with them without knowing why. Obierika and half a dozen other friends came to help and to console him. They each made nine or ten trips carrying Okonkwo's yams to store in Obierika's barn. And before the cock crowed Okonkwo and his family were fleeing to his motherland. It was a little village called Mbanta, just beyond the borders of Mbaino.


As soon as the day broke, a large crowd of men from Ezeudu's quarter stormed Okonkwo's compound, dressed in garbs of war. They set fire to his houses, demolished his red walls, killed his animals and destroyed his barn. It was the justice of the earth goddess, and they were merely her messengers. They had no hatred in their hearts against Okonkwo. His greatest friend, Obierika, was among them. They were merely cleansing the land which Okonkwo had polluted with the blood of a clansman.


Obierika was a man who thought about things. When the will of the goddess had been done, he sat down in his obi and mourned his friend's calamity. Why should a man suffer so grievously for an offence he had committed inadvertently? But although he thought for a long time he found no answer. He was merely led into greater complexities. He remembered his wife's twin children, whom he had thrown away. What crime had they committed? The Earth had decreed that they were an offence on the land and must be destroyed. And if the clan did not exact punishment for an offence against the great goddess, her wrath was loosed on all the land and not just on the offender. As the elders said, if one finger brought oil it soiled the others.”


Note: The passage says that it was almost dark and a dead man's body would soon be put into the earth. People were dancing to say goodbye and guns shot bullets up into the air. Then Okonkwo's gun did not work well. It broke into pieces, and one piece killed the dead man's sixteen-year-old son.


 People did not know what to do. People often died, but nothing like this had happened before.


Okonkwo had to leave the village. The earth goddess would be angry about Okonkwo killing someone in his own village. Because Okonkwo had not planned to kill the boy, his crime (his act against the law) had been an accident. His crime had been a female crime. Okonkwo could come back to the village in seven years.


Okonkwo's family cried. Okonkwo got his things. Obierika and other friends helped and carried Okonkwo's yams to Obierika's barn. Very early in the morning, Okonkwo and his family went to Mbanta, the little village where Okonkwo had been born.


Men set fire to Okonkwo's houses and barn and killed his animals. They did this for the earth goddess, not because they did not like Okonkwo. His greatest friend, Obierika, was with them. They had to clean the land which Okonkwo had polluted with the blood of a clansman, a person from his own village.


Obierika thought about things. He did not understand why bad things had to happen to a man who had accidentally killed someone. He could not find an answer. He remembered that he had thrown away his wife's twin children, but the children had done nothing bad. The Earth had said they must be killed. The people had to do what the great goddess wanted, or bad things would happen to all of them. The elders said, if one finger brought oil it soiled the others.”


To answer Questions 22-25, please read the following character analysis excerpt about Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Choose the best responses to the prompts next to the passage. There is one and only one correct answer to each prompt.


The protagonist of Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is also considered a tragic hero. A tragic hero holds a position of power and prestige, chooses his course of action, possesses a tragic flaw, and gains awareness of circumstances that lead to his fall. Okonkwo's tragic flaw is his fear of weakness and failure.


In his thirties, Okonkwo is a leader of the Igbo community of Umuofia. Achebe describes him as "tall and huge" with "bushy eyebrows and [a] wide nose [that gives] him a very severe look." When Okonkwo walks, his heels barely touch the ground, like he walks on springs, "as if he [is] going to pounce on somebody." Okonkwo "stammers slightly" and his breathing is heavy.


Okonkwo is renowned as a wrestler, a fierce warrior, and a successful farmer of yams (a "manly" crop). He has three wives and many children who live in huts on his compound. Throughout his life, he wages a never ending battle for status; his life is dominated by the fear of weakness and failure. He is quick to anger, especially when dealing with men who are weak, lazy debtors like his father. However, Okonkwo overcompensates for his father's womanly (weak) ways, of which he is ashamed, because he does not tolerate idleness or gentleness. Even though he feels inward affection at times, he never portrays affection toward anyone. Instead, he isolates himself by exhibiting anger through violent, stubborn, irrational behavior. Okonkwo demands that his family work long hours despite their age or limited physical stamina, and he nags and beats his wives and son, Nwoye, who Okonkwo believes is womanly like his father, Unoka.


Okonkwo is impulsive; he acts before he thinks.

Consequently, Okonkwo offends the Igbo people and their traditions as well as the gods of his clan. Okonkwo is advised not to participate in the murder of Ikefemuna, but he actually kills Ikefemuna because he is "afraid of being thought weak."


Chua, John, and Suzanne Pavlos. CliffsNotes on Things Fall Apart. 28 Mar 2017 </literature/t/things-fall-apart/book-summary>.


Note: The passage says that Okonkwo is the protagonist (the most important character) in Things Fall Apart. He is a tragic hero, a person with power who does things because he has a tragic flaw (a sad weakness). Okonkwo's tragic flaw is his fear of weakness and failure. Okonkwo is a successful farmer, but he is also a big, angry man who hits his wives and his son because he does not want to look weak.

Okonkwo is impulsive. (This means that he acts before he thinks.) Okonkwo makes his people and his gods angry. He kills Ikefemuna because he is "afraid of being thought weak."



For Questions 1-10, please mark the letter of the correct definition of the given vocabulary word.