Arrow of God PDF: A Review and Summary of Chinua Achebe's Epic Tale of Colonialism and Culture
Arrow of God is a novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, first published in 1964. It is the third book in his African trilogy, following Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease. The novel tells the story of Ezeulu, the chief priest of Ulu, a god created by the people of Umuaro after they abandoned their ancestral gods. Ezeulu is caught in a conflict between his loyalty to Ulu and his desire to resist the British colonial administration that threatens to undermine his authority and influence.
In this article, we will review and summarize the main events and themes of Arrow of God, as well as provide some background information on the author and the historical context of the novel. We will also show you how to download Arrow of God PDF for free, so you can enjoy this African masterpiece on your device.
Who is Chinua Achebe?
Chinua Achebe was born in 1930 in Ogidi, a town in southeastern Nigeria. He grew up in a Christian family that was influenced by both Igbo and British culture. He attended missionary schools and later studied English literature at the University of Ibadan. He worked as a teacher, broadcaster, and editor before becoming a full-time writer.
Achebe is widely regarded as one of the most influential African writers of the 20th century. He is best known for his novels that depict the impact of colonialism and post-colonialism on African societies and cultures. His works have been translated into more than 50 languages and have won several awards and honors. He died in 2013 at the age of 82.
What is the plot of Arrow of God?
The novel is set in the 1920s, in the fictional region of Umuaro, which consists of six villages that share a common god, Ulu. Ezeulu is the chief priest of Ulu, and he is responsible for performing rituals and sacrifices to ensure the prosperity and harmony of the land and the people. He has a close relationship with Ulu, who speaks to him in dreams and visions.
However, Ezeulu's authority is challenged by both internal and external forces. On one hand, he faces opposition from some of his fellow villagers, who resent his power and influence. They accuse him of being arrogant, selfish, and stubborn. They also plot to undermine his position by supporting Nwaka, a rival leader who advocates for a war against Okperi, a neighboring village that claims part of Umuaro's land.
On the other hand, Ezeulu has to deal with the British colonial administration, which seeks to impose its rule and religion on Umuaro. The British send a district officer named Winterbottom, who tries to persuade Ezeulu to cooperate with him and become a warrant chief, a local representative of the colonial government. Ezeulu refuses to accept this role, as he sees it as a betrayal of Ulu and his people. He also rejects the Christian missionaries who come to Umuaro and try to convert the villagers.
As a result of his defiance, Ezeulu is arrested and imprisoned by Winterbottom for several months. During his absence, Umuaro suffers from drought and famine, as Ezeulu is the only one who can declare the new yam festival, which marks the beginning of the harvest season. The villagers blame Ezeulu for their misfortune and start to lose faith in Ulu. Some of them turn to Christianity, while others seek alternative gods.
When Ezeulu is finally released, he returns to Umuaro with a bitter and vengeful attitude. He decides to punish his people by delaying the new yam festival even further, hoping that they will realize their mistake and beg for his forgiveness. However, his plan backfires, as his people rebel against him and Ulu. They accuse him of being mad and evil, and they abandon him and his god. Ezeulu is left alone and broken, as he witnesses the collapse of his world.
The new yam festival: The new yam festival is an important ritual and celebration in Umuaro, as it marks the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one. It also symbolizes the renewal of life and fertility, as well as the gratitude and respect for Ulu and the ancestors. However, the new yam festival becomes a source of conflict and crisis in the novel, as Ezeulu delays it for his own reasons, causing suffering and starvation to his people. The new yam festival also represents the clash between the traditional and the modern, as the British and the Christian missionaries try to interfere with it and impose their own calendar and religion on Umuaro.
The mask: The mask is another symbol of the traditional culture and religion of Umuaro. It is worn by Ezeulu's son, Oduche, who is initiated into the cult of Idemili, a goddess of water and fertility. The mask gives Oduche a sense of identity and belonging, as well as a connection to his ancestors and his god. However, the mask also becomes a sign of Oduche's betrayal and alienation, as he tries to kill a sacred python, a messenger of Idemili, under the influence of the Christian missionaries. The mask also shows the contrast between appearance and reality, as Oduche hides his true feelings and intentions behind it.
What is the style and language of Arrow of God?
Arrow of God is written in a simple and clear prose that reflects Achebe's skill and mastery of the English language. Achebe uses a variety of techniques and devices to enrich his narrative and convey his message. Some of these techniques and devices are:
Proverbs: Achebe uses proverbs to express the wisdom and philosophy of the Igbo people, as well as to add humor and irony to his story. Proverbs are short and memorable sayings that capture a truth or a lesson in a figurative way. For example, one of the proverbs that Ezeulu often quotes is \"A man who brings home ant-infested faggots should not complain if he is visited by lizards.\"
Flashbacks: Achebe uses flashbacks to provide background information and context for his characters and events. Flashbacks are scenes that interrupt the present action and show what happened in the past. For example, Achebe uses flashbacks to show how Ezeulu became the chief priest of Ulu, how he met Winterbottom, and how he lost his wife and daughter.
Dialogue: Achebe uses dialogue to reveal the personality and emotions of his characters, as well as to show the contrast and conflict between different cultures and languages. Dialogue is the conversation between two or more characters in a story. For example, Achebe uses dialogue to show how Ezeulu communicates with Ulu in his dreams and visions, how he argues with his rivals and enemies, and how he misunderstands and mistrusts the British and the Christian missionaries.
Igbo words: Achebe uses Igbo words to give authenticity and flavor to his story, as well as to show the richness and diversity of the Igbo culture and language. Igbo is the native language of the Igbo people, one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria. Achebe uses Igbo words for names, places, objects, rituals, titles, greetings, etc. For example, some of the Igbo words that appear in Arrow of God are Umuaro (the name of the region), Ulu (the name of the god), Ezeulu (the name of the chief priest), ogene (a metal gong), obi (a hut), iyi-uwa (a stone that links a child to the spirit world), etc.
What is the reception and impact of Arrow of God?
Arrow of God is widely regarded as one of Achebe's best and most complex novels. It has received critical acclaim and recognition from both African and Western critics and readers. It has been praised for its realistic and nuanced portrayal of the Igbo society and culture, as well as its powerful and tragic depiction of the effects of colonialism and Christianity on Africa. It has also been admired for its artistic and literary merit, as well as its social and political relevance.
Arrow of God has influenced and inspired many other writers and artists, both in Africa and beyond. It has been adapted into a radio drama, a stage play, and a film. It has also been studied and taught in various schools and universities around the world. It has been translated into several languages, including French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, etc.
Arrow of God is considered as one of the classics of African literature, as well as one of the masterpieces of world literature. It is a novel that challenges and enlightens its readers, as well as entertains and moves them. It is a novel that deserves to be read and appreciated by anyone who loves literature and history.
How to download Arrow of God PDF for free?
If you are interested in reading Arrow of God, you might be wondering how to get a copy of the novel in PDF format for free. There are several ways to do that, but you should be careful and respectful of the author's rights and the publisher's policies. Here are some of the possible ways to download Arrow of God PDF for free:
Check your local library: One of the easiest and safest ways to get Arrow of God PDF for free is to check if your local library has a digital copy of the novel that you can borrow or access online. Many libraries offer e-books and audiobooks that you can download or stream on your device. You might need a library card and an app to use this service. You can also ask your librarian for help or recommendations.
Use a legal and reputable website: Another way to get Arrow of God PDF for free is to use a legal and reputable website that offers free or discounted e-books. Some of these websites are Project Gutenberg, Open Library, ManyBooks, BookBub, etc. These websites have a large collection of public domain and indie books that you can download or read online. However, you should be careful and avoid websites that offer pirated or illegal copies of books, as they might harm your device or violate the author's rights.
Buy a physical copy of the book: A third way to get Arrow of God PDF for free is to buy a physical copy of the book and scan it yourself. This might sound like a lot of work, but it can be a good option if you want to have both a hard copy and a digital copy of the novel. You can use a scanner or a smartphone app to scan the pages of the book and convert them into a PDF file. However, you should only do this for your personal use and not share or distribute the file without permission.
Arrow of God is a novel by Chinua Achebe that tells the story of Ezeulu, the chief priest of Ulu, a god of the Igbo people in Nigeria. The novel explores the themes and symbols of colonialism, culture, religion, power, and tragedy. It is written in a simple and clear prose that incorporates proverbs, flashbacks, dialogue, and Igbo words. It is one of Achebe's best and most complex novels, and it has received critical acclaim and recognition from both African and Western critics and readers. It has influenced and inspired many other writers and artists, and it has been adapted into various media forms. It is a classic of African literature and a masterpiece of world literature. It is a novel that you should read and enjoy.
If you want to download Arrow of God PDF for free, you can check your local library, use a legal and reputable website, or buy a physical copy of the book and scan it yourself. However, you should be careful and respectful of the author's rights and the publisher's policies. You should also support the author and the publisher by buying or recommending the book if you like it.
We hope that this article has given you some useful information and insights about Arrow of God. We also hope that you have enjoyed reading it as much as we have enjoyed writing it. Thank you for your attention and interest. d282676c82