Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Chapter 18 Summary and Analysis

Tensions rise between the clan and the church. One day, some missionaries come into the village and declare that the Igbo gods are dead. These missionaries are beaten, which temporarily puts a hold on the conflict. The villagers begin to hear stories of the white men bringing a government, in addition to their religion, but once again the villagers pay these stories no heed. Then the osu, or outcasts, arrive, and there's dissension among the members of the church, who don't want the osu to join them. Mr. Kaiga, the leader of the church, decides to accept the osu, and, empowered, one of them kills Mbanta's sacred python.

There's some debate over what to do about the man who killed the python. No one saw it happen, and they can't be sure exactly who it was. In the end, the village decides to ostracize the members of the church and prevent them from going to the market or even just collecting water. When Mr. Kaiga asks them why, they say it's because an osu named Okoli killed the python. Soon after, the osu dies, and the villagers of Mbanta think it justice. They don't bother the Christians after that.

Symbols

The Sacred Python.  Unlike snakes in general, which are often seen as evil spirits,...

(The entire section is 412 words.)