Achebe depicts the Igbo as a people with great social institutions. Their culture is rich and impressively civilized, with traditions and laws that place great emphasis on justice and fairness. The people are ruled not by a king or chief but by a kind of simple democracy, in which all males gather and make decisions by consensus. Ironically, it is the Europeans, who often boast of bringing democratic institutions to the rest of the world, who try to suppress these clan meetings in Umuofia. The Igbo also boast a high degree of social mobility. Men are not judged by the wealth of their fathers, and Achebe emphasizes that high rank is attainable for all freeborn Igbo.
After a release of the men, the clan calls a meeting to decide whether they will fight or try to live peacefully with the whites. Okonkwo wants war. During the meeting, court messengers come to order the men to break up their gathering. The clan meetings are the heart of Umuofia's government; all decisions are reached democratically, and an interference with this institution means the end of the last vestiges of Umuofia's independence. Enraged, Okonkwo kills the court messenger. The other court messengers escape, and because the other people of his clan did not seize them, Okonkwo knows that his people will not choose war. His act of resistance will not be followed by others. Embittered and grieving for the destruction of his people's independence, and fearing the humiliation of dying under white law, Okonkwo returns home and hangs himself.
World History Standard 36- Understands patterns of global change in the era of Western military and economic dominance from 1800 to 1914. Benchmarks: Understands influences on and consequences of European immigration and settlement; Understands the influence of European imperial expansion on political and social facets of African and Indian society; Understands economic, social, and religious influences on African society; Understands African resistance movements against the British during the period of European imperial expansion; Understands the advantages and disadvantages of imperialism; Understands the European intellectual justifications for imperialism
(CTSS – ‘social’, ‘9-12’, ‘8’)
World History Standard 43- Understands how post-World War II reconstruction occurred, new international power relations took shape, and colonial empires broke up. Benchmarks: Understands the impact of independence movements in various countries and whether they were successful; Understands reasons for the shift in government in Africa and how Africans responded
(CTSS – ‘social’, ‘9-12’, ‘wh10’)
Geography Standard 13- Understands the forces of cooperation and conflict that shape the divisions of Earth’s surface. Benchmarks: Understands how cooperation and/or conflict can lead to the allocation of control of Earth’s surface; Knows the causes of boundary conflicts and internal disputes between culture groups; Understands the changesthat occur in the extent and organization of social, political, and economic entities on Earth’s surface
(CTSS – ‘social’, ‘9-12’, ‘geo4’)
Language Arts Standard 4- Gathers and uses information for research purposes. Benchmarks: Determines the validity and reliability of primary and secondary source information and uses information accordingly in reporting on a research topic; Synthesizes information from multiple research studies to draw conclusions that go beyond those found in any of the individual studies; Identifies and defends research questions and topics that may be important in the future; Writes research papers
(CTSS – ‘english’, ‘9-12’, ‘4’)
Language Arts Standard 6- Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies for reading a variety of literary texts. Benchmarks: Applies reading skills and strategies to a variety of literary texts; Makes connections among literary works based on theme; Understands historical and cultural influences on literary works; Makes abstract connections between his or her own life and the characters, events, motives, and causes of conflict in texts; Relates personal response to the text with that seemingly intended by the author
(CTSS – ‘english’, ‘9-12’, ‘6’)