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A common story told in Okonkwo’s village is about Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, visiting the tribe’s oracle, Agbala, to discover why he has such bad harvests.
The narrative flashes back to Unoka speaking with the oracle many years ago when Okonkwo was still a boy.
Agbala’s priestess interrupts as Unoka begins explaining himself. She says that he has no one but himself to blame for his bad harvests. She points out his laziness in contrast to his neighbors’ admirable work ethic and sends him away with simple advice: “go home and work like a man.”