| Quote #7
Because of his familiarity with the white man's language the carpenter, Moses Unachukwu, although very much older than the two age groups, had come forward to organize them and to take words out of the white man's mouth for them. At fist Mr. Wright was inclined to distrust him, as he distrusted all uppity natives, but he soon found him very useful and was now even considering giving him some little reward when the road was finished. Meanwhile Unachukwu's reputation in Umuaro rose to unprecedented heights. It was one thing to claim to speak the white man's tongue and quite another to be seen actually doing it. The story spread throughout the six villages. Ezeulu's one regret was that a man of Umunneora should have this prestige. But soon, eh thought, his son would earn the same or greater honor (8.7)
Though Wright considers Unachukwu to be "uppity" because he knows too much about Western culture and language, he finds Unachukwu to be useful. It is more than useful to the people of Umuaro, and because they see the importance of it, Unachukwu's reputation goes through the roof. Ezeulu, seeing this, is glad he's made the choice to send Oduche to church to learn about the white man's source of power.
| Quote #8
Ezeulu now sat down on the iroko panel with his back against the wall so that he could see the approaches to his compound. His mind raced up and down in different directions trying vainly to make sense of the whipping story. Now he was thinking about the white man who did it. Ezeulu had seen him and heard his voice when he spoke to the elders of Umuaro about the new road. When the story had first spread that a white man was coming to talk to the elders Ezeulu had thought it would be his friend, Wintabota, the Destroyer of Guns. He had been greatly disappointed when he saw it was another white man. Wintabota was tall and erect and carried himself like a great man. His voice sounded like thunder. This other man was short and thick, as hairy as a monkey. He spoke in a queer way without opening his mouth. Ezeulu thought he must be some kind of manual labourer in the service of Wintabota.
Despite his initial reaction of anger against the white man for whipping his son, and despite his lack of respect for Wright, Ezeulu is wiling to believe the worst of his son. (He knows Obika to be lazy, drunk, and ill-tempered, especially in the company of his friend Ofoedu.) Ezeulu can't stand Ofoedu and seeing him with Obika now, he instantly jumps to the conclusion that Obika must be at fault.
| Quote #9
"A man does not speak a lie to his son," he said. "Remember that always. To say My father told me it to swear the greatest oath."
A man's reputation is staked on what he has heard and learned from his father. Knowledge is passed down in this way, and that knowledge is trustworthy, because a man will not lie to his son.