Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, tells the men to whom he owes money: “Our elders say that the sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them. I shall pay my big debts first.” What does Unoka mean by relaying this anecdote?
In calling upon the wisdom of the elders, Unoka explains that his priority for repayment rests with his largest debts. The men to whom he owes the most money are "those who stand," while those to whom he owes lesser amounts are "those who kneel under them." The use of metaphors in the form of the sayings of the local elders is frequent throughout the novel; this will get students thinking about one of...
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