Arrow of God

Arrow of God Metaphors and Similes

World as a dancing mask (simile)

Explaining to Oduche why he must go and spend time with the British, Ezeulu says that "the world is like a Mask, dancing. If you want to see it well you do not stand in one place." Like Shakespeare's famous "all the world's a stage," this image depicts the world as a vast performance. To see it all, to get the full effect and understand the meaning, you have to move around. Here, he is asking Oduche to be his "eyes" with the British so that their community can gain a better understanding of the colonial power and thus learn how to adapt to living with them.

You call this wrestling? (metaphor)

When Nwodika praises Ezeulu for having pinned the white man to the ground, Ezeulu replies, "You call this wrestling? No, my clansman. We have not wrestled. We have merely studied each other's hand." Here, Nwodika and Ezeulu are offering different metaphors for the conflict with the white man. While Nwodika sees it as a simple physical contest and thinks the match has already been fought and won, Ezeulu implies that the contest is much more strategic and subtle—and that it is still at an early stage, as in a card game where one tries to guess what the other player is holding. The different metaphors reflect views of the same process.