Arrow of God

Analysis of Arrow of God College

In Chinua Achebe's Arrow of God, tragedy is the driving force of the plot and the development of Ezeulu’s character. Contrary to the popular saying “that which does not kill you makes you stronger,” the successive and increasingly personal tragedies that befall Ezeulu fuel his descent from the wise and highly respected high priest of his people to a petty and spiteful man, perfectly willing to starve his people for a perceived slight. Ezeulu is corrupted by power, and as his family and village heed his advice less and less, he exerts more and more power to sway them until he nearly leads his people into catastrophe.

In the beginning, Ezeulu truly is a wise man, and his advice on the conflict between Umuaro and Okperi is some of the little sound leadership Ezeulu displays through the entire novel. Not only does Ezeulu display integrity in his advice not to go to war over land that rightfully belongs to Okperi (Achebe 26), but Ezeulu also correctly predicts that Akukalia is too hot headed to send as a diplomat in the land dispute. When Akukalia and the other diplomats arrive in Okperi, they refuse all friendly rituals in favor of simply demanding an audience with the elders. Their hosts are understandably offended by this and an...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1173 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9052 literature essays, 2372 sample college application essays, 399 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in