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Arrow of God

Arrow of God


by Chinua Achebe

Nwaka Timeline and Summary

  • Nwaka urges the men to go to war with Okperi. He suggests that it is only cowardice that makes them cautious. When Ezeulu speaks against the war, Nwaka denounces him, saying that not only does he want to be chief priest of Ulu but he wants to be their king.
  • Nwaka suggests that if Ulu doesn't support them in the decisions they make, he may find that the people of Umuaro abandon him and make a new god instead.
  • The animosity between Nwaka and Ezeulu grows. Nwaka's fight against Ezeulu is reinforced by the priest of Idemili, who tells him stories about how proud Ezeulu is, and how Ezeulu is grasping for power.
  • When Captain Winterbottom sends a message asking Ezeulu to come see him, Nwaka is one of the men of title that Ezeulu calls to ask for advice. Nwaka speaks for the region and tells Ezeulu that Captain Winterbottom is his friend. Why is he surprised that he wants to see Ezeulu now? He reminds Ezeulu of their old proverb – that "a man who brings ant-ridden faggots into his hut should expect the visit of lizards" (13.27)
  • Nwaka appears in Ezeulu's dream. He asks the people of Umuaro why they need a chief priest of Ulu? Can't they all read the skies and tell what season it is? Ezeulu can't save them from the white man so they should drive him away. The people listen to him. They spit on Ezeulu and call him the priest of a dead god.
  • Nwaka comes with the elders to beg Ezeulu to announce the Feast of the New Yam.