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Arrow of God

Arrow of God

by Chinua Achebe

Pride Theme

In Arrow of God, the main character Ezeulu's pride gets him in trouble from the very beginning. Angered by the Umuaro community's decision to ignore him in the matter of going to war with Okperi, he nurses his silent grudge for years. Since Ezeulu is the priest of Ulu, the highest god in Umuaro, Ezeulu shouldn't worry about being #1 – but his jealous pride for his status eventually causes him to take revenge against the people of Umuaro. Ezeulu isn't the only one who is proud. Winterbottom accuses all Igbo men of putting on airs; he argues that if you give an Igbo man a little bit of authority, he will soon be abusing even his own relatives. Winterbottom says that Igbo men love titles, not realizing that his men, Clarke and Wright, have made similar comments about how much Winterbottom loves his own title, "Captain."

Questions About Pride

  1. Which character has the most pride in this novel? Why?
  2. Which character has the least pride in this novel? Why?
  3. Do you agree with the people of Umuaro that Ezeulu is proud and headstrong? Why or why not?
  4. What are the consequences of pride in this novel?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Although the people of Umuaro believe Ezeulu is proud and headstrong, Ezeulu is in fact a compassionate priest who is doing his best to keep his people's culture intact.

Although Ezeulu believes that he is simply doing Ulu's will, his pride blinds him to the fissures in society that will ultimately lead to Ulu's demise.

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