Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Review: Arrow of God

Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe
Genre: Dramatic Fiction

There is no short description of what this novel is about, and I'm not exactly sure how to explain it, for I am not entirely sure myself, but I shall do my best.

In a part of early Africa, Ezeulu is the chief priest in his tribe for the god Ulu, just like the father before him. He is good at interpreting the will of the god and listening to the people, but he has a jealous enemy in another tribe who is determined to destroy him and his family. The white people nearby also change the people's cultural values and the meaning of their god and Ezeulu's position as a humble leader.

Okay, so that was a really bad description. Sorry! But I read this novel a few weeks ago, and even I didn't know what the main point of the story was; I should have paid more attention, but who wants to read a difficult book for a class next semester in the last few weeks of summer? (This novel was also for my World Lit class).

I think what made this novel particularly difficult to read was the major cultural differences to ours that I just didn't get like the moral stories, tribal history, and sacrifices. Once again, it will help a lot to have this story explained more in a class. Also, it was very challenging to keep up with characters because their names sounded so similar. For example, in just Ezeulu's family you have Obika, Oduche, Ojiugo, and Obiajeli. Whew!

I did enjoy learning about this culture and their ways. I liked this book much better than Achebe's book, Things Fall Apart which I read in high-school, because it was not nearly as depressing. But I think I need to read this book at least one more time to understand the importance of all that transpired.

I give this book a 1.5 and recommend it for sixteen-year-olds and up.

What I learned: "If my enemy speaks the truth I will not say because it is spoken by my enemy I will not listen."

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