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Conflict and its manifestations in Achebe's "Arrow of God"

Author(s): O. G. Mordaunt

Journal: Afrika Focus
ISSN 0772-084X

Volume: 5;
Issue: 3-4;
Start page: 153;
Date: 1989;
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Keywords: English Literature | Literature | Nigeria | Psychology

Mordaunt describes how the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe deals with the problem of personal conflict in his novel "Arrow of God". The main character in this novel is Ezeulu, who is chief priest of the god Ulu, of the village of Umuaro. Ezeulu comes into conflict with himself in a quest to hold on to power despite his high age and the break-through of the British colonial administrators. Ezeulu wants to control both his people and the British administrators. Ezeulu believes the clan will silently follow him and the British will respect him. Hereto he sends his son to the white man's missionary school where the boy adopts the new religion and sacrileges his own. Ezeulu will not punish him despite the wishes of the clan. Achebe's novel shows that men cannot fight societies' will and that the latter can bring a man to insanity.

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