Things Fall Apart
Respect and Reputation Quotes Page 6
How we cite our quotes:
These outcasts, or osu, seeing that the new religion welcomed twins and such abominations, thought that it was possible that they would also be received. And so one Sunday two of them went into the church. There was an immediate stir; but so great was the work the new religion had done among the converts that they did not immediately leave the church when the outcasts came in. (18.7)
The outcasts, who have lost all reputation within their clan, see that their only way of redeeming themselves is to join the Christians.
He was a person dedicated to a god, a thing set apart – a taboo for ever, and his children after him. He could neither marry nor be married by the free-born. He was in fact an outcast, living in a special area of the village, close to the Great Shrine. Wherever he went he carried with him the mark of his forbidden caste – long, tangled and dirty hair. A razor was taboo to him. An osu could not attend an assembly of the free-born, and they, in turn, could not shelter under his roof. He could not take any of the four titles of the clan, and when he died he was buried by his kind in the Evil Forest. How could such a man be a follower of Christ? (18.12)
The lowest social class wears a physical symbol of their poor reputation – long, tangled hair – allowing them to be easily identified.
Okonkwo called his three wives and told them to get things together for a great feast. “I must thank my mother’s kinsmen before I go,” he said. (19.6)
Okonkwo shows his respect and gratitude to his mother’s people before going home.