Things Fall Apart

Why is the old man's rebuke significant?

chapter 4

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Okonkwo insults a lower man, insinuating that he is a girl. The elders admonish Okonkwo for his insult and make him apologize. This tells that although Okonkwo is a powerful and successful man, he is not above tribal courtesy. The wise elderly still command enough power and respect to put even Okonkwo in his place.