Chinua Achebe: 10 marvelous quotes from selected works - eritvnews

Chinua Achebe: 10 marvelous quotes from selected works



Yesterday, March 21, marked the 3rd anniversary
of the death of one of Africa’s literary giants
Albert Chinualumogu Achebe who passed away in
2013 aged 82. Popularly known by his
abbreviated name, Chinua, Achebe remains one
of Africa’s most celebrated novelists.
His first novel Things Fall Apart (1958) is widely
considered his magnum opus, and is the most
widely read book in modern African literature.
Achebe received numerous accolades and has
been called “the father of modern African
writing”. We celebrate the legacy of one of
Africa’s foremost writers with 10 quotes from his
selected works.


Things Fall Apart
1. “The white man is very clever. He came
quietly 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,”
Quoted in Things Fall Apart, 1958.
2. Eneke the bird: “Men have learned to shoot
without missing their mark and I have learned to
fly without perching on a twig”. Quoted in Things

Fall Apart, 1958.
3. “Whenever you see a toad jumping in broad
daylight, then know that something is after its
life,” Quoted in Things Fall Apart, 1958.
4. “Okonkwo stood looking at the dead man. He
knew that Umuofia would not go to war. He knew
because they had let the other messengers
escape. They had broken into tumult instead of
action. He discerned fright in that tumult. He
heard voices asking: “Why did he do it?” Quoted

in Things Fall Apart, 1958
No Longer at Ease
5. “You cannot plant
greatness as you
plant yams or maize.
Who ever planted an
iroko tree — the
greatest tree in the
forest? You may
collect all the iroko
seeds in the world,

open the soil and put them there. It will be in
vain. The great tree chooses where to grow and
we find it there, so it is with the greatness in
men,”


No Longer at Ease , 1960.
6. “A man to whom you do a favor will not
understand if you say nothing, make no noise,
just walk away. You may cause more trouble by
refusing a bribe than by accepting it,” No Longer
at Ease , 1960.
7. “When there is a big tree small ones climb on
its back to reach the sun,” No Longer at Ease ,
1960.


Arrow of God
8. “When suffering knocks at your door and you
say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to
worry because he has brought his own stool.”
Quoted in Arrow of God , 1964.


Anthills of the Savannah
9. “While we do our good works let us not forget
that the real solution lies in a world in which
charity will have become unnecessary.” Quoted
in Anthills of the Savannah, 1987.
10. “Charity …is the opium of the privileged,”
Quoted in Anthills of the Savannah, 1987.

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