The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.— Chinua Achebe
Restlessness Things Fall Apart Okonkwo quotations
A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.
The sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them.
There is no story that is not true.
You might as well say that the woman lies on top of the man when they are making the babies.
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
The world is large,” said Okonkwo. “I have even heard that in some tribes a man’s children belong to his wife and her family.” “That cannot be,” said Machi. “You might as well say that the woman lies on top of the man when they are making the babies.
Among the Igbo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.
Living fire begets cold, impotent ash.
There is no story that is not true, [.
..] The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others.
No matter how prosperous a man was, if he was unable to rule his women and his children (and especially his women) he was not really a man.
An old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb
When the moon is shining the cripple becomes hungry for a walk
We shall all live. We pray for life, children, a good harvest and happiness. You will have what is good for you and I will have what is good for me. Let the kite perch and let the egret perch too. If one says no to the other, let his wing break.
If I hold her hand she says, ‘Don’t touch!’ If I hold her foot she says ‘Don’t touch!’ But when I hold her waist-beads she pretends not to know.
Beware Okonkwo!" she warned. "Beware of exchanging words with Agbala. Does a man speak when a god speaks? Beware!
A man's life from birth to death was a series of transition rites which brought him nearer and nearer to his ancestors.
Let the kite perch and let the eagle perch too – If one says no to the other, let his wing break.
If a child washed his hands, he could eat with kings.
We have heard stories about white men who make the powerful guns and the strong drinks and took slaves away across the seas, but no one thought the stories were true.
Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered.
As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.
At the most one could say that his chi or .
.. personal god was good. But the Ibo people have a proverb that when a man says yes his chi says yes also. Okonkwo said yes very strongly; so his chi agreed.
Men have learned to shoot without missing their mark and I have learned to fly without perching on a twig.