a shelter from danger or hardship
He was taking his family of three wives and their children to seek
refuge in his motherland.
active strength of body or mind
But it was like beginning life anew without the
vigor and enthusiasm of youth, like learning to become left-handed in old age.
a person who is sent way from home or country by authority
He is an
exile, condemned for seven years to live in a strange land.
an emotion of great sadness associated with loss
"He does not know that either," said Uchendu, "and yet he is full of
sorrow because he has come to live in his motherland for a few years."
expel from a community or group
Do you know that men are sometimes
banished for life?
signal with the hands or nod
The first people who saw him ran away, but he stood
beckoning to them.
wander from a direct course or at random
Do you not think that they came to our clan by mistake, that they have
strayed from their way to a land where everybody is like them?"
large in number or amount or extent or degree
The arrival of the missionaries had caused a
considerable stir in the village of Mbanta.
not acknowledging the God of Christianity, Judaism and Islam
Evil men and all the
heathen who in their blindness bowed to wood and stone were thrown into a fire that burned like palm-oil.
expressing contempt or ridicule
When this was interpreted to the men of Mbanta they broke into
filled with wonder and delight
The interpreter explained each verse to the audience, some of whom now stood
"Enthrall" as a verb also mean "enslave"--while missionaries have often paved the way for colonists who enslaved the natives, the example sentence does not connect to that definition. "Enthralled" as an emotion of wonder and delight contrasts with "derisive laughter"--both of which emphasize Achebe's view that outsiders who bring new ideas can face opposition as well as touch hearts, minds, and souls. This largely depends on whether they are more like Mr. Smith or Mr. Brown.
continually recurring to the mind
The hymn about brothers who sat in darkness and in fear seemed to answer a vague and
persistent question that haunted his young soul—the question of the twins crying in the bush and the question of Ikemefuna who was killed.
young and inexperienced
callow mind was greatly puzzled.
be persistent, refuse to stop
But the missionaries
persevered, and in the end they were received by the rulers of Mbanta.
improperly forward or bold
And so excitement mounted in the village as the seventh week approached since the
impudent missionaries built their church in the Evil Forest.
Another definition of "impudent" is "marked by casual disrespect"--this would also fit the villagers' view of the missionaries for referring to the Ibo gods as wood and stone. But the example sentence is focused on the missionaries being so bold as to first ask for land and then to build on the Evil Forest, which the Ibos believe would be the missionaries' doom at the hands of the gods, ancestors, sinister forces, powers of darkness, and diseases.
thrown into a state of agitated confusion
Her husband and his family were already becoming highly critical of such a woman and were not unduly
perturbed when they found she had fled to join the Christians.
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 miscreant gang.
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
having unsuitable feminine qualities
To abandon the gods of one's father and go about with a lot of
effeminate men clucking like old hens was the very depth of abomination.
Suppose when he died all his male children decided to follow Nwoye's steps and abandon their ancestors? Okonkwo felt a cold shudder run through him at the terrible prospect, like the prospect of
a social class separated by distinctions of hereditary rank
Wherever he went he carried with him the mark of his forbidden
caste—long, tangled and dirty hair.
be unsure or weak
wavering converts drew inspiration and confidence from his unshakable faith.
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.
excessive fervor to do something or accomplish some end
It was in fact one of them who in his
zeal brought the church into serious conflict with the clan a year later by killing the sacred python, the emanation of the god of water.
responsible for one's actions
We would then not be held
accountable for their abominations."
expel from a community or group
Everybody in the assembly spoke, and in the end it was decided to
ostracize the Christians.
the act of making amends for sin or wrongdoing
If a clansman killed a royal python accidentally, he made sacrifices of
atonement and performed an expensive burial ceremony such as was done for a great man. No punishment was prescribed for a man who killed the python knowingly. Nobody thought that such a thing could ever happen.
the extent of something from side to side
That night a bell-man went through the length and
breadth of Mbanta proclaiming that the adherents of the new faith were thenceforth excluded from the life and privileges of the clan.
prevent from entering; keep out
But it is not our custom to
debar anyone from the stream or the quarry."
relatedness or connection by blood or marriage or adoption
But I fear for you young people because you do not understand how strong is the bond of
kinship. You do not know what it is to speak with one voice.
Another definition of "kinship" is "a close connection marked by community of interests"--this fits the example sentence's mention of "one voice." However, for the Ibos, kinship needs both definitions, while the Christians are challenging that idea by only requiring the second.