Things Fall Apart
Whenever the thought of his father’s weakness and failure troubled him he expelled it by thinking about his own strength and success. And so he did now. His mind went to his latest show of manliness.
“I cannot understand why you refused to come with us to kill that boy,” he asked Obierika. (8.20-21)
“It was always said that Ndulue and Ozoemena had one mind,” said Obierika. “I remember when I was a young boy there was a song about them. He could not do anything without telling her.”
“I did not know that,” said Okonkwo. “I thought he was a strong man in his youth.”
“He was indeed,” said Ofoedu.
Okonkwo shook his head doubtfully. (8.43-46)
As he was speaking the boy returned, followed by Akueke, his half-sister, carrying a wooden dish with three kola nuts and alligator pepper. She gave the dish to her father’s eldest brother and then shook hands, very shyly, with her suitor and his relatives. She was about sixteen and just ripe for marriage. Her suitor and his relatives surveyed her young body with expert eyes as if to assure themselves that she was beautiful and ripe.
She wore a coiffure which was done up into a crest in the middle of the head. Cam wood was rubbed lightly into her skin, and all over her body were black patterns drawn with uli. She wore a black necklace which hung down in three coils just above her full, succulent breasts. On her arms were red and yellow bangles, and on her waist four or five rows of jigida, or waist beads. (8.65-66)