Things Fall Apart

What might Uchendu's lecture portend for okonkwo and foreshadow for the plot?

Chapter 14

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Uchendu's lecture centers on the important role of a mother and maternal blood lines. Okonkwo, so proud of manhood and obsessed with masculinity, is being asked to accept a mother's comfort. He is also asked by Uchendu to be a source of tenderness and comfort to his wives; Okonkwo has always associated such behavior with weakness. Uchendu is reminding his nephew that strength is not synonymous with force and violence. He is also reminding Okonkwo that strength is not a uniquely male domain. Through this lecture, Okonkwo's violent reactions and the price he will pay are foreshadowed...... Okonkwo does not heed the advice of a wiser man. A man who understand the changes necessary for tribal survival.

In Chapter Fourteen, another ominous bit of foreshadowing comes with the two very different reactions of Uchendu and Okonkwo. Uchendu, depicted always as a wise and thoughtful man, says that the mistake was to kill the stranger. Okonkwo, characteristically, says that the mistake was failing to prepare for war. Okonkwo will later try to defy the white man, with tragic results.