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Major conflicts in Arrow of God

Summary:

Major conflicts in Arrow of God include the clash between traditional Igbo culture and British colonial rule, and the internal struggle of Ezeulu, the chief priest, who battles with both his own community and the British authorities. Additionally, there are conflicts within Ezeulu's family and tensions arising from religious and political changes in the society.

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What are some man-vs.-man conflicts in Arrow of God?

One such conflict involves the characters Ezeulu and Nwaka.  Ezuelu is "unhappy with the escalation of a minor conflict with the nearby Okperi tribe whom he sees as entitled to a disputed piece of land. His arguments for not going to war are considered and reveal his knowledge of history.  But a powerful speaker and a very wealthy leader, Nwaka, prevails. Unfortunately, the delegate sent to the Okperi gives in to his anger after being goaded about his virility and breaks the ikenga or ancestral image of the Okperi spokesman, who then kills him."

Ezeulu also comes into a man vs man conflict with Winterbottom. "Winterbottom is a chief foil for Ezuelu, as he is presented as colonial governor with superior sensitivity and certainly common sense. After the war, he breaks all the guns in Umuaro, and becomes known by an epithet that evokes this act. Winterbottom is also an idealist, however, who strongly believes in the mission of British colonialism.

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What are the man vs nature or man vs society conflicts in Arrow of God?

A societal conflict is seen between Ezeulu and his people. Ezeulu won't relinquish any of his power as Chief Priest, and he believes anyone who goes against him is an enemy. His authoritarianism is unacceptable to the people because it threatens the culture's survival. This is seen when Ezeulu refuses to eat enough yams to catch up to the amount he should have already eaten while he was in prison. The Feast of the New Yam is an important ritual that marks the new moon of the Umuaro calendar. By Ezeulu refusing to eat the required amount, the yams will rot in the fields, and his people will go hungry. Ezeulu's desire for power causes him to be alienated from society and his family. As a result, the angry villagers turn to the Christian faith, abandoning their traditional god, Ulu.

The conflict against nature is seen by how heavily the people depend on their crops for survival. The two most important rituals are the Festival of the Pumpkin Leaves and the Feast of the New Yam that are celebrated before crops are planted and when crops are ready to be harvested. The first is a ceremony that cleanses the villagers of their sins before the new crop is planted. The second one blesses the harvest. The crops are the lifeblood of the villages, and they can't survive if the crops aren't successfully planted and harvested.

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What are the man vs nature or man vs society conflicts in Arrow of God?

One prominent "man-vs-society" theme is the struggle between the British Christians and the native Igbo people.  There are also plenty of internal man-vs. socity conflicts betweenn the Igbo and the Okperi tribes.  In the midst of this tribal conflict, man-vs-man takes place between the two rival leaders, Ezeulu and Nwafo.

Man vs. man is also present in the conflicts between the British Clarke and Wright and the character Winterbottom.  Winterbottom has more respect for the native ways, and the others ridicule him for his sensitivity. 

Please visit the link below to the "themes" page at quicknotes for more information on this topic.

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What are the man vs nature or man vs society conflicts in Arrow of God?

The conflict of human versus in Arrow of God relates to the Igbos’ involvement in agriculture, and forms a central part of the plot about changing colonial control. Because they are particularly dependent on yams, they have developed religious rituals intended to help them ensure a good harvest. The conversion of many people to Christianity, along with the British political repression of Igbo leaders, including incarceration, interferes with the rituals.

The primary development of this theme involves Ezeulu’s inability to eat ritual yams each month, and related insistence of delaying an important festival for the new yams. The human attempts to intervene with the natural process so that the crops will crow well and harvest will be successful, are thus interrupted. The British co-opt the indigenous ritual, replacing it with a festival dedicated to Christ, and encourage the harvest to proceed, thereby pressuring the Igbo people to convert just so they can eat.

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What are the man vs nature or man vs society conflicts in Arrow of God?

I just answered this question, so if you look on the right side of this answer under "Top Tags in Arrow of God", you'll see a list. If you click on "man vs society", you'll get the answer to your question. That question asked about two conflicts in the novel, man vs. nature and man vs. society.

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