young and inexperienced
callow mind was greatly puzzled.
wishing evil to others
Her husband's wife took this for
malevolence, as husbands' wives were wont to.
filled with wonder and delight
The interpreter explained each verse to the audience, some of whom now stood
not supplying something useful for the future
In his day he was lazy and
improvident and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow.
marked by defiant disregard for danger or consequences
And if anybody was so
foolhardy as to pass by the shrine after dusk he was sure to see the old woman hopping about.
internal organs collectively
He warmed himself in the fire and ate the
extremely pleasing to the sense of taste
"After kola nuts had been presented and eaten, the people of the sky set before their guests the most
delectable dishes Tortoise had even seen or dreamed of.
relating to or articulated in the throat
Then came the voices of the egwugwu,
guttural and awesome.
a person without moral scruples
A sudden fury rose within him and he felt a strong desire to take up his machete, go to the church and wipe out the entire vile and
only partly in existence; imperfectly formed
But now she found the half-light of the
incipient moon more terrifying than darkness.
plausible but false
And although she believed that the iyi-uwa which had been dug up was genuine, she could not ignore the fact that some really evil children sometimes misled people into digging up a
expressing contempt or ridicule
When this was interpreted to the men of Mbanta they broke into
pulled or drawn tight
The air, which had been stretched
taut with excitement, relaxed again.
wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
It was deeper and more intimate than the fear of evil and capricious gods and of magic, the fear of the forest, and of the forces of nature,
malevolent, red in tooth and claw.
restraint consisting of a rope or chain
He could not understand it until he looked back and saw that what he led at the end of the
tether was not a goat but a heavy log of wood."
happening by chance or unexpectedly or unintentionally
Okonkwo had committed the female, because it had been
in an agile manner
Sometimes he decided that a yam was too big to be sown as one seed and he split it
deftly along its length with his sharp knife.
marked by a ready flow of speech
Tortoise was very happy and
voluble as he flew among the birds, and he was soon chosen as the man to speak for the party because he was a great orator.
move or swing back and forth
As the evening drew near, the shouting and the firing of guns, the beating of drums and the
brandishing and clanging of machetes increased.
showing the wearing effects of overwork or care or suffering
He wore a
haggard and mournful look except when he was drinking or playing on his flute.
the act of giving out in portions
There were many men and women in Umuofia who did not feel as strongly as Okonkwo about the new
tear or be torn violently
The cannon seemed to
rend the sky.
hesitant or lacking confidence; unsettled in mind or opinion
Neither of the other wives dared to interfere beyond an occasional and
tentative, "It is enough, Okonkwo," pleaded from a reasonable distance.
the time between one event, process, or period and another
Okonkwo was, therefore, asked on behalf of the clan to look after him in the
deserving of scorn or disrespect
And indeed he was possessed by the fear of his father's
contemptible life and shameful death.
a superior skill learned by study and practice
To crown it all he had taken two titles and had shown incredible
prowess in two inter-tribal wars.
climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling
Unfortunately for her Okonkwo heard it and ran madly into his room for the loaded gun, ran out again and aimed at her as she
clambered over the dwarf wall of the barn.
He could hear in his mind's ear the blood-stirring and intricate rhythms of the ekwe and the udu and the ogene, and he could hear his own flute weaving in and out of them, decorating them with a colourful and
skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands
The water began to boil, and in one
deft movement she lifted the pot from the fire and poured the boiling water over the fowl.
close in time; about to occur
When they had eaten they talked about many things: about the heavy rains which were drowning the yams, about the next ancestral feast and about the
impending war with the village of Mbaino.
quivering as from weakness or fear
Now and again an ancestral spirit or egwugwu appeared from the underworld, speaking in a
tremulous, unearthly voice and completely covered in raffia.
clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion
As soon as the day broke, a large crowd of men from Ezeudu's quarter stormed Okonkwo's compound, dressed in
garbs of war.
They came when misfortune
dogged their steps or when they had a dispute with their neighbours.
Now that he had time to think of it, his son's crime stood out in its
talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner
'It cried and
raved and cursed me,' said the young kite.
make believe with the intent to deceive
On receiving such a message through a younger brother or sister, Nwoye would
feign annoyance and grumble aloud about women and their troubles.
turn away from sin or do penitence
That was why Okonkwo had been Chosen by the nine villages to carry a message of war to their enemies unless they agreed to give up a young man and a virgin to
atone for the murder of Udo's wife.
escape, either physically or mentally
In that way she will
elude her wicked tormentor and break its evil cycle of birth and death."
someone who believes and helps to spread a doctrine
The two outcasts shaved off their hair, and soon they were the strongest
adherents of the new faith.
threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
'There is something
ominous behind the silence.'
aggressive boldness or unmitigated effrontery
Of his three wives Ekwefi was the only one who would have the
audacity to bang on his door.
an act or expression of criticism and censure
After her father's
rebuke she developed an even keener appetite for eggs.
At the end, Unoka was able to give an answer between fresh outbursts of
an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
When the will of the goddess had been done, he sat down in his obi and mourned his friend's
appropriate to a purpose
Everything was possible, he told his energetic flock, but everything was not
showing a brooding ill humor
The six men remained
sullen and silent and the Commissioner left them for a while.
the top or extreme point of something
She wore a coiffure which was done up into a
crest in the middle of the head.
a state of commotion and noise and confusion
They had broken into
tumult instead of action.
the act of sending off something
An ultimatum was immediately
dispatched to Mbaino asking them to choose between war - on the one hand, and on the other the offer of a young man and a virgin as compensation.
continuing forever or indefinitely
His wives, especially the youngest, lived in
perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did his little children.