Arrow of God
Arrow of God
by Chinua Achebe
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Tony Clarke

Character Analysis

Tony Clarke starts out with some progressive ideas about colonialism in Africa. He feels the call of duty to "civilize" Africa, but he believes there must be some good in indigenous institutions, and that they should be preserved. Though he belongs to the officer class, he feels more comfortable with men like Wright, who may be morally questionable but seem to have less of a superiority complex than men like Winterbottom.

Ultimately, however, Clarke begins to realize that he's surrounded by men who are corrupt in some way or another – if not morally, then ideologically. There is no resolution to this aspect in his character however. When we last see Clarke, he is releasing Ezeulu after receiving orders from the Administration that they don't plan to continue appointing new chiefs. In the end it seems that Clarke is slavishly obedient to the whims of the Administration, despite his moral qualms.

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