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Excerpts From Arrow Of God - Literature - Nairaland

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Excerpts From Arrow Of God by REDInks(m): 1:39am On Dec 08, 2017
ARROW OF GOD by CHINUA ACHEBE is one of the books amongst others I have read and digested the notion that it's one of the best among Chinua Achebe's collection though most persons would want to say THINGS FALL APART and I totally agree that TFA is a book after my own heart, I have read it close to 5 times, 3 times on the hard copy which I bought and twice in epub format, and now I will be sharing some of my insights from ARROW OF GOD, this is the second time I'm reading the book, the first was on hard copy and the most recent on epub format let's dive into some of my beautiful captions from this best seller......(winks)
Re: Excerpts From Arrow Of God by REDInks(m): 1:41am On Dec 08, 2017
From the final chapter of The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger, by George Allen, which Captain Winterbottom had lent him( Tony Clarke) ......
‘For those seeking but a comfortable living and a quiet occupation Nigeria is closed and will be closed until the earth has lost some of its deadly fertility and until the people live under something like sanitary conditions.
But for those in search of strenuous life, for those who can deal with men as others deal with material, who can grasp great situations, coax events, shape destinies and ride on the crest of the wave of time Nigeria is holding out her hands.
For the men who in India have made the Briton the law-maker, the organizer, the engineer of the world this new, old land has great rewards and honourable work. I know we can find the men. Our mothers do not draw us with nervous grip back to the fireside of boyhood, back into the home circle, back to the purposeless sports of middle life; it is our greatest pride that they do – albeit tearfully – send us fearless and erect, to lead the backward races into line. “Surely we are the people!”
This message simply points out what we are having in our country today.
Nigeria is an hustling Nation, if you are looking for comfortability, it's only an illusion until the people are living under sanitary conditions and the earth has lost some of its deadly fertility....I don't really understand the deadly fertility part but I guess it's pointing the black oil sitting beneath the soil.
Re: Excerpts From Arrow Of God by REDInks(m): 1:43am On Dec 08, 2017
When Nwaka was telling a spiritual story through his masquerade something struck me about the African culture, even though we paint it so bad, it's unique and as all powers could be used for good so also is the African power, though its inhabitants prefer the evil aspect....... enjoy.......

Folk assembled, listen and hear my words. There is a place, Beyond Knowing, where no man or spirit ventures unless he holds in his right hand his kith and in his left hand his kin. But I, Ogalanya, Evil Dog that Warms His Body through the Head, I took neither kith nor kin and yet went to this place.
The flute called him Ogalanya Ajo Mmo, and the big drum replied.
When I got there the first friend I made turned out to be a wizard.
made another friend and found he was a poisoner. I made my third friend and he was a leper. I, Ogalanya, who cuts kpom and pulls waa, I made friends with a leper from whom even a poisoner flees.
The flute and the drum spoke again. Ogalanya danced a few steps to the right and then to the left, turned round sharply and saluted empty air with his matchet.
I returned from my sojourn. Afo passed, Nkwo passed, Eke passed, Oye passed. Afo came round again. I listened, but my head did not ache, my belly did not ache; I did not feel dizzy.
Tell me, folk assembled, a man who did this, is his arm strong or not?
The The crowd replied: ‘His arm is indeed very strong.’ The flute and all the drums joined in the reply.

And I had to wonder where he got such a loud mouth from before I saw this....

But if it was, where did Nwaka get this power? For when we see a little bird dancing in the middle of the pathway we must know that its drummer is in the near-by bush.

Re: Excerpts From Arrow Of God by REDInks(m): 1:49am On Dec 08, 2017
Change necessarily is not wrong but how you react to it determines a lot, when the white men came Ezeulu saw better and he acted wisely...

Perhaps the time had come to bring him out again. But what would happen if, as many oracles prophesied, the white man had come to take over the land and rule? In such a case it would be wise to have a man of your family in his band.

Proverb: “The inquisitive monkey gets a bullet in the face.”


At first Oduche did not want to go to church. But Ezeulu called him to his obi and spoke to him as a man would speak to his best friend and the boy went forth with pride in his heart. He had never heard his father speak to anyone as an equal. heard his father speak to anyone as an equal.
‘The world is changing,’ he had told him. ‘I do not like it. But I am like the bird Eneke-nti-oba. When his friends asked him why he was always on the wing he replied: “Men of today have learnt to shoot without missing and so I have learnt to fly without perching.”


Proverb: ‘An old woman is never old when it comes to the dance she knows.’


Proverb: A man who knows that his anus is small does not swallow an udala seed.”


Proverb: The man who sends a child to catch a shrew will also give him water to wash his hand.”


Proverbial excuse: greeting in the cold harmattan is taken from the fireside.


Proverb: A disease that has never been seen before cannot be cured with everyday herbs.


When we want to make a charm we look for the animal whose blood can match its power; if a chicken cannot do it we look for a goat or a ram; if that is not sufficient we send for a bull. But sometimes even a bull does not suffice, then we must look for a human.

Every problem has its own solution, you cannot use paracetamol to treat Syphilis...


Proverb: This is what our sages meant when they said that a man who has nowhere else to put his hand for support puts it on his own knee.

When you have nobody to give you support or help, you'll have to rely on your own strength.


‘As for being alone, do you not think that it should be as familiar to me now as are dead bodies to the earth?...........

Nothing appears new to someone who has been going through the situation before....a corpse remain cannot irritate an Anatomist.

Proverb: Our sages were right when they said that no matter how many spirits plotted a man’s death it would come to nothing unless his personal god took a hand in the deliberation.’

When a man has enemies, his household is always part of the plot........

(Chapters 4-12)

Re: Excerpts From Arrow Of God by REDInks(m): 1:50am On Dec 08, 2017
“Mma madu” man wey know man did not start today, it started from somewhere.....the messenger here was very rude due to his position as common among Nigerians who habe big Ogas, and even went as much as pointing out the dues to be paid to access the white man....Corruption started a long time ago

‘Thank you. We are all men here but when we open our mouths we know the men from the boys. We have spoken many words already; some were words of profit, some were not; some were words of sanity and some words of drunkenness. It is now time to say why I have come, for a toad does not run in the daytime unless something is after it. I have not come all the way from Okperi to stretch my legs. Your own kinsman here has told you how Kaputin Winta-bor-tom has put me in charge of many of his affairs. He is the chief of all the white men in these parts. I have known him for more than ten years and I have yet to see another white man who does not tremble before him. When he sent me here he did not tell me he had a friend in Umuaro.’ He smiled in derision. ‘But if what you say is true we shall know tomorrow when I take you to see him.’

‘There is one small thing I forgot,’ said the Court Messenger. ‘There are many people waiting to see the white man and you may have to wait in Okperi for three or four days before your turn comes.
But I know that a man like you would not want to spend many days outside his village. If you do me well I shall arrange for you to see him tomorrow. Everything is in my hands; if I say that the white man will see this person, he will see him. Your kinsman will tell you what I eat.’ He smiled and put his fez back on the head.
(Chapter 12)
Re: Excerpts From Arrow Of God by REDInks(m): 1:51am On Dec 08, 2017

Finally one character I love so much his anger, handsomeness and good heart all led him down...OBIKA I enjoyed his fury here......

Ezeulu took no part in the consultation that followed. When the Court Messenger and his companion returned to the hut it was Akuebue who told them that because of the respect he had for the white man Ezeulu had agreed to send his son, Edogo, to bring back whatever message there was for his father. ‘In Umuaro it is not our custom to refuse a call, although we may refuse to do what the caller asks. Ezeulu does not want to refuse the white man’s call and so he is sending his son.’
‘Is that your answer?’ asked the Court Messenger.
‘It is,’ replied Akuebue.
‘I will not take it.’
‘Then you can go into that bush there and eat shit,’ said Obika. ‘Do you see where my finger is pointing? That bush.’
‘Nobody will eat shit,’ said Akuebue, and turning to the messenger he added: ‘I have never heard of a messenger choosing the message he will carry. Go and tell the white man what Ezeulu says. Or are you the white man yourself?’
Ezeulu had turned a little away from the others and begun again to pick his teeth with the broomstick.

(Chapter 12)
Till next time...biko
Re: Excerpts From Arrow Of God by Obinnau(m): 9:26am On Dec 08, 2017
I have unbanned you
Re: Excerpts From Arrow Of God by REDInks(m): 12:49am On Dec 16, 2017
Let me complete the excerpts...
Re: Excerpts From Arrow Of God by REDInks(m): 12:52am On Dec 16, 2017
Proverb: people say that if you thank a man for what he has done he will have strength to do more.
When a man is appreciated he gets the morale to do more.

Proverb: Unless the penis dies young it will surely eat bearded meat.
When a man does not die in his young age, he lives old enough to taste the honey pot of his wife....lol

Proverb: Did not our elders tell us that as soon as we shake hands with a leper he will want an embrace?
When you shake hand with those who are bow your class, sometimes they would feel they have equalled your status, like a disrespect...

Proverb: You tied the knot, you should also know how to undo it. You passed the shit that is smelling; you should carry it away...
Problems that you caused, you should know how to solve it....

Proverb: Sometimes when we have given a piece of yam to a child we beg him to give us a little from it, not because we really want to eat it but because we want to test our child. We want to know whether he is the kind of person who will give out or whether he will clutch everything to his chest when he grows up.

Proverb: ‘But we cannot come and go for nothing. When a masked spirit visits you you have to appease its footprints with presents.

This method is mostly employed by Nigerian police and SARS, once they hold you, you mist drop something....
Re: Excerpts From Arrow Of God by REDInks(m): 12:53am On Dec 16, 2017
The deceptive power of Medicine started a long time ago, like this very character was deceived by the dibia because he went to Ezeulu's house to arrest him........

At first ‘Couple’ Matthew Nweke was not too worried. He had a strong personal protection which a great dibia in his village made for him during his last leave. But as he heard more and more about Ezeulu his faith in his safety began to weaken. In the end he held a quick consultation with the policeman who had accompanied him to Umuaro and they decided that to be on the safe side they should go and see a local dibia straight away. It was past ten o’clock at night when they arrived at the man’s house. He was called throughout the village The Bow that shoots at the Sky.
As soon as they came in he told them the object of their mission. ‘You have done right to come straight to me because you indeed walked into the mouth of a leopard. But there is something bigger than a leopard. That is why I say welcome to you because you have reached the final refuge.’ He told them that they must not eat anything which they had taken from Umuaro. They must bring the two cocks and the money for sacrifice which they would carry and deposit on the highway. For what they had already eaten he gave them a preparation to drink and also to mix into their bath water.

Proverb: My father used to say that it is the fear of causing offence that makes men swallow poison.

When you have a suspicion about something, do not accept because of shame, fear, or because the act will offend the person.....
This was what led to Obika's death.

Proverb: If the rat could not run fast enough it must make way for the tortoise.

When a person is unable to carry out a task he must leave it to a more capable hand.

Proverb: ‘Every lizard lies on its belly, so we cannot tell which has a bellyache.’

Most persons might smile and act as if everything is fine, unless you are told, you'll think nobody has a problem.

Proverb: for when mother-cow is cropping giant grass her calves watch her mouth.’

The parents ate the first teachers a child learns from.......
Re: Excerpts From Arrow Of God by REDInks(m): 12:55am On Dec 16, 2017
The Masquerade demonstration by Obika before he died....

As soon as these words left his mouth Ogbazulobodo swung round and criedteeth…’

‘The fly that struts around on a mound of excrement wastes his time; the mound will always be greater than the fly. The thing that beats the drum for ngwesi is inside the ground. Darkness is so great it gives horns to a dog. He who builds a homestead before another can boast more broken pots. It is ofo that gives rain-water power to cut dry earth. The man who walks ahead of his fellows spots spirits on the way. Bat said he knew his ugliness and chose to fly by night. When the air is fouled by a man on top of a palm tree the fly is confused. An ill-fated man drinks water and it catches in his teeth…’

He was was at once blind and full of sight. He did not see any of the landmarks like trees and huts but his feet knew perfectly where they were going; he did not leave out even one small path from the accustomed route. He knew it without the use of eyes. He only stopped once when he smelt light…

‘Even while people are still talking about the man Rat bit to death Lizard takes money to have his teeth filed. He who sees an old hag squatting should leave her alone; who knows how she breathes? White Ant chews igbegulu because it is lying on the ground; let him climb the palm tree and chew. He who will swallow udala seeds must consider the size of his anus. The fly that has no one to advise him follows the corpse into the ground.”

A fire began to rage inside his chest and to push a dry bitterness up his mouth. But he tasted it from a distance or from a mouth within his mouth. He felt like two separate persons, one running above the other.

When a handshake passes the elbow it becomes another thing. The sleep that lasts from one market day to another has become death. The man who likes the meat of the funeral ram, why does he recover when sickness visits him? The mighty tree falls and the little birds scatter in the bush… The little bird which hops off the ground and lands on an ant-hill may not know it but is still on the ground… A common snake which a man sees all alone may become a python in his eyes… The very Thing which kills Mother Rat is always there to make sure that its young ones never open their eyes… The boy who persists in asking what happened to his father before he has enough strength to avenge him is asking for his father’s fate… The man who belittles the sickness which Monkey Monkey has suff ered should ask to see the eyes which his nurse got from blowing the sick fire… When death wants to take a little dog it prevents it from smelling even excrement…’

The eight men who would sing the ayaka chorus were still talking where Obika left them. Ozumba had come to sit with them to await his return. They were talking about the big bull which Amalu’s children had bought for his funeral when they heard the voice already coming back. The ayaka men scrambled to their feet and got ready to break into song as soon as Ogbazulobodo re-entered the ilo. They were all amazed that he was already returning. Had he left out any of the paths?
‘Not Obika,’ said Ozumba proudly. ‘He is a sharp one. Give me a sharp boy even though he breaks utensils in his haste.’
This was hardly out of his mouth when Ogbazulobodo raced in and fell down at the foot of the okwolo. Ozumba removed the necklace from his neck and called his name. But Obika did not answer. He called again and touched his chest.
They poured some of the cold water which was always kept handy over his face and body. The song of the ayaka had stopped as abruptly as it had started. They all stood around unable yet to talk.

As the story ended, the death of Obika was a tragic one, one that led even the Father Ezeulu to die early and I wonder if Obika was the more preferred son of the father?
And I wonder if it was that evil medicine man Obika pursued from their age group masquerade dance or was it the fact that he was not hundred percent okay before carrying the ogbazulobodo mask that killed him.......

I wonder.......finally My father used to say that it is the fear of causing offence that makes men swallow poison.

That's all of my excerpts from Arrow of God by CHINUA ACHEBE

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