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. Chapter 19, Page 125
But he was not the man to go about telling his neighbors that he was in error. And so people said he had no respect for the gods of the clan. His enemies said that his good fortune had gone to his head. Chapter 4, Page 26
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. Chapter 12, Page 90
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. Chapter 15, Page 104
Share these Things Fall Apart Quotes with page numbers
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. Chapter 20, Page 152
‘When did you become a shivering old woman,’ Okonkwo asked himself, ‘you, who are known in all the nine villages for your valor in war? How can a man who has killed five men in battle fall to pieces because he has added a boy to their number? Okonkwo, you have become a woman indeed.’ Chapter 8, Page 56
If one finger brought oil it soiled the others. Chapter 13, Page 111
Do not despair. I know you will not despair. You have a manly and a proud heart. A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride. It is more difficult and more bitter when a man fails alone. Chapter 3, Page 21
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. Chapter 7, Page 45
It was like beginning life anew without the vigor and enthusiasm of youth, like learning to become left-handed in old age. Chapter 14, Page 113
After such treatment it would think twice before coming again, unless it was one of the stubborn ones who returned, carrying the stamp of their mutilation – a missing finger or perhaps a dark line where the medicine man’s razor had cut them. Chapter 9, Page 69
‘Beware Okonkwo!’ she warned. ‘Beware of exchanging words with Agbala. Does a man speak when a god speaks? Beware!’ Chapter 11, Page 89
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?’ Chapter 24, Page 176
Living fire begets cold, impotent ash. Chapter 17, Page 13
We have heard stories about white men who made the powerful guns and the strong drinks and took slaves away across the seas, but no one thought the stories were true. Chapter 15, Page 122
Mr. Brown had thought of nothing but numbers. He should have known that the kingdom of God did not depend on large crowds. Our Lord Himself stressed the importance of fewness. Narrow is the way and few the number. To fill the Lord’s holy temple with an idolatrous crowd clamoring for signs was a folly of everlasting consequence. Our Lord used the whip only once in His life – to drive the crowd away from His church. Page 135
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. Page 6
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. Page 133
Then listen to me,’ he said and cleared his throat. ‘It’s true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother’s hut. 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. Your mother is there to protect you. She is buried there. And that is why we say that mother is supreme. Is it right that you, Okonkwo, should bring your mother a heavy face and refuse to be comforted? Be careful or you may displease the dead. Your duty is to comfort your wives and children and take them back to your fatherland after seven years. But if you allow sorrow to weigh you down and kill you, they will all die in exile.
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