Arrow of God
by Chinua Achebe
Arrow of God Pride Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Ezeulu often said that the dead fathers of Umuaro looking at the world from Ani-Mmo must be utterly bewildered by the ways of the new age. At no other time but now could Umuaro have taken war to Okperi in the circumstances in which they did. Who would have imagined that Umuaro would go to war so sorely divided? Who would have thought that they would disregard the warning of the priest of Ulu who originally brought the six villages together and made them what they were? But Umuaro had grown wise and strong in its own conceit and had become like the little bird, nza, who ate and drank and challenged his personal god to single combat. Umuaro challenged the deity which laid the foundation of their villages. And – what did they expect – he thrashed them, thrashed them enough for today and for tomorrow. (2.1)
Pride is what causes the village of Umuaro to go against the advice of their chief priest. Ulu refuses to let the people of Umuaro defy him.
"Do I look to you like someone you can put in your bag and walk away?" he [Moses] asked. "I have been to the fountainhead of this new religion and seen with my own eyes the white people who brought it. So I want to tell you now that I will not be led astray by outsiders who choose to weep louder than the owners of the corpse. You are not the first teacher I have seen; you are not the second; you are not the third. If you are wise you will face the work they sent you to do here and take your hand off the python. You can say that I told you so." (4. 84)
Moses Unachukwu's identity is tied up with his superior knowledge of the white man's religion. He takes pride in it and challenges the new catechist to try to usurp his place as first Christian in Umuaro.
By the time Edogo reached home his father was still in a very bad temper, only that now his anger was not so much against Oduche as against all the double-faced neighbors and passers-by whose words of sympathy barely concealed the spitefulness in their hears. And even if they had been sincere Ezeulu would still have resented anybody making him an object of pity. At first his anger shouldered inwardly. But the last group of women who went in to see his wives, looking like visitors to a place of death, inflamed his wrath. (4.96)
Ezeulu's pride is hurt by what Oduche has done to the sacred python. But he takes his anger out on the gossiping neighbors rather than admitting what his hurt pride and frustration at being an object of pity rather than of admiration.