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Quotes

Quote #1

As she walked, pain and anger fought inside her; sometimes anger came to the fore, but the emotional pain always won. And that was what she wanted to end, very, very quickly. She would soon be there, she told herself. It would all soon be over, right there under the deep water that ran below Carter Bridge. Then she would be able to seek out and meet her chi, her personal god, and she would ask her why she had punished her so. She knew her chi was a woman, not just because to her way of thinking only a woman would be so thorough in punishing another. Apart from that, had she not been told many times at home in Ibuza that her chi was a slave woman who had been forced to die with her mistress when the latter was being buried? So the slave woman was making sure that Nnu Ego's own life was nothing but a catalogue of disasters. Well, now she was going to her, to the unforgiving slave princess from a foreign land, to talk it all over with her, not on this earth but in the land of the dead, there deep beneath the waters of the sea. (1.8)

In the first chapter, we learn that the Ibo believe each person has a personal god who watches over their life. Nnu Ego's chi (personal god) is a vengeful woman, a slave woman who was forced to die with her mistress. Nnu Ego's chi is now taking out her bitterness over the shortness of her life on Nnu Ego.

Quote #2

Goats were slaughtered every day to appease Agbadi's chi; others were left alive by river banks and at Ude to appease the other gods. (2.10)

Sacrifices are one of the ways that the Ibos pray to the gods when they are making a request.

Quote #3

Ona went to do as she was told, thinking to herself how unfair it was that Agbadi should accuse her of having a heart of stone. How else could she behave since she could not marry him? Because her father had no sons, she had been dedicated to the gods to produce children in his name, not that of any husband. Oh, how torn she was between two men: she had to be loyal to her father, as well as to her lover Agbadi. (2.35)

We see the importance of having sons here. Men must have their names passed down from one generation to the next through their sons. In this case, because Ona's father had no sons, Ona must sacrifice her life so her father achieves immortality through her children.

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