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There is always a sense of tension when Okonkwo is involved. He brings his own bottled stress and latent guilt to every function. The natural elements are often personified to match the mood of the moment. When people gather in solemnity for Exeudu's funeral, the author writes,
"Everyone understood that it would begin a long time later, when the sun's heat had softened."
There is also an anthropological objectivity about the scene when it comes to meetings,
"Am oyim de de de de! flew around the dark, closed hut like tongues of fire. The ancestral spirits of the clan were abroad."