Confusion, Misjudgment and Dissonance: The Fall of a Priest, a People and a God in Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God
Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God portrays the gradual downfall and the ultimate doom of the protagonist, Ezeulu, of the entire Igbo community and even their deity, Ulu. Ezeulu’s tragedy happens in numerous stages influenced by various factors stemming from personal, communal and religious conflicts and his misinterpretation or misunderstanding of himself, his people, his deity and institutions and circumstances. Set in the 1920s Nigeria, Arrow of God portrays a period when colonial machination is well underway, and the native beliefs and institutions are crumbling under its grueling pressure. This paper seeks to show how Arrow of God shows that the main reason for the debacle of Igbo society lies in their internal conflicts, failure to stick to their tradition and the helplessness and dilemma to which colonialism has subjected them. Achebe asserts that for the sake of maintaining age-old traditions, some flexibility in judgment must be there, and any kind of absolutism should be avoided for the greater interest of the people.