Arrow of God

Arrow of God Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

church bells (symbol)

The bells from the new church that toll throughout Umuaro on Sunday are a symbol of the lurking specter of Christianity in the novel that threatens the Igbo religion governing all aspects of Igbo life. Ezeulu even notes that the bells sound louder when he’s in the most sacred chamber of his compound.

yam leaves (symbol)

The yam leaves the women of the village throw at Ezeulu during the New Yam Feast are a religious symbol within the text, symbolizing the sins of the people.

python (symbol)

For John Goodcountry, the sacred python is a symbol of Igbo heathenism, and thus must be killed in an act of symbolic violence.

the story of the Nza (allegory)

The oft-invoked story of the Nza, or little bird, that ate and drank to such a state of intoxication that he challenged his own chi, is an allegory that, from Ezeulu’s perspective, describes the people of Umuaro’s insolence and, from an objective perspective, might symbolize Ezeulu’s own hubris.