Things Fall Apart

by: Chinua Achebe

Chapters 14–16

Quotes Chapters 14–16
[Okonkwo] had been cast out of his clan like a fish onto a dry, sandy beach, panting. Clearly his personal god or chi was not made for great things. A man could not rise beyond the destiny of his chi. The saying of the elders was not true—that if a man said yea his chi also affirmed. Here was a man whose chi said nay despite his own affirmation.
A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland.
‘I am greatly afraid. We have heard stories about white men who made the powerful guns and the strong drinks and took slaves across the seas, but no one thought the stories were true.’
That was a source of great sorrow to the leaders of the clan; but many of them believed that the strange faith and the white man’s god would not last. None of his converts was a man whose word was heeded in the assembly of the people. None of them was a man of title. They were mostly the kind of people that were called efulefu, worthless, empty men.
‘Your gods are not alive and cannot do you any harm,’ replied the white man. ‘They are pieces of wood and stone.’