Arrow of God
by Chinua Achebe
Arrow of God Revenge Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
The next day, Afo, saw the war brought to a sudden close. The white man, Wintabota, brought soldiers to Umuaro and stopped it. The story of what these soldiers did in Abame was still told with fear, and so Umuaro made no effort to resist but laid down their arms. Although they were not yet satisfied they could say without shame that Akukalia's death had been avenged, that they had provided him with three men on whom to rest his head. It was also a good thing perhaps that the war was stopped. The death of Akukalia and his brother in one and the same dispute showed that Ekwensu's hand was in it. 2.102
In Igbo mythology, Ekwensu is a spiritual entity in opposition to God, possibly comparable to "Satan" in Christianity. So although the people decide they took (unsatisfactory) revenge on Akukalia's death, they also realize that their choice to do it may have been the wrong choice, and that they may have brought evil upon themselves.
A stranger to this year's festival might go away thinking that Umuaro had never been more united in all its history. In the atmosphere of the present gathering the great hostility between Umunneora and Umuachala seemed, momentarily, to lack significance. Yesterday if two men from the two villages had met they would have watched each other's movement with caution and suspicion; tomorrow they would do so again. But today they drank palm wine freely together because no man in his right mind would carry poison to a ceremony of purification; he might as well go out into the rain carrying potent, destructive medicines on his person. (7.2)
Nobody would consider bringing evil upon themselves by seeking revenge during a purification ceremony. What's interesting is that though they refuse to seek revenge during the ceremony, they will remember it the next day. The purification in this ceremony represents only a temporary cleansing.
When the discussion began again someone suggested that they should go to the elders of Umuaro and tell them that they could no longer work on the white man's road. But as speaker after speaker revealed the implications of such a step it lost all support. Moses told them the white man would reply by taking all their leaders to prison at Okperi. (8.69)
Though the men want to take revenge against Wright for whipping Obika without cause, they ultimately conclude that the white man's revenge will be greater. Their revenge would be futile.