impossible to rectify or amend
But some of these losses were not
something done or paid in expiation of a wrong
As the years of exile passed one by one it seemed to him that his chi might now be making
amends for the past disaster.
recovering readily from adversity, depression, or the like
But it was a
resilient spirit, and in the end Okonkwo overcame his sorrow.
characterized by liveliness and lightheartedness
The young ailing girl who had caused her mother so much heartache had been transformed, almost overnight, into a healthy,
the lack of knowledge or education
They had built a court where the District Commissioner judged cases in
an affront to one's self-esteem
They were grieved by the
indignity and mourned for their neglected farms.
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
While the chosen definition for "dispensation" can refer to Mr. Brown's giving of towels and singlets to encourage the villagers to attend his school, the definition intended here is "a specific system by which something is administered," which in the example sentence is "the white man's government."
And even in the matter of religion there was a growing feeling that there might be something in it after all, something vaguely akin to method in the
appropriate to a purpose
Everything was possible, he told his energetic flock, but everything was not
cause to adopt a new or different faith
Neither of them succeeded in
converting the other but they learned more about their different beliefs.
a high standing achieved through success or influence
Brown's mission grew from strength to strength, and because of its link with the new administration it earned a new social
far-reaching and thoroughgoing in effect
The clan had undergone such
profound change during his exile that it was barely recognizable.
making or becoming suitable; adjusting to circumstances
He condemned openly Mr. Brown's policy of compromise and
afflicted with or marked by anxious uneasiness or trouble
Mr. Smith was greatly
distressed by the ignorance which many of his flock showed even in such things as the Trinity and the Sacraments.
remove the sacredness from a person or an object
The other egwugwu immediately surrounded their
desecrated companion, to shield him from the profane gaze of women and children, and led him away.
close in time; about to occur
Enoch himself was greatly disappointed when he heard this, for he had hoped that a holy war was
imminent; and there were a few other Christians who thought like him.
providing no shelter or sustenance
The band of egwugwu moved like a furious whirlwind to Enoch's compound and with machete and fire reduced it to a
not in agreement or harmony
Discordant bells clanged, machetes clashed and the air was full of dust and weird sounds.
a complaint about a wrong that causes resentment
Okeke interpreted wisely to the spirits and leaders of Umuofia: "The white man says he is happy you have come to him with your
grievances, like friends.
changed to be made more fit for a particular purpose
The times which had
altered so unaccountably during his exile seemed to be coming round again.
loud and confused and empty talk
Three days later the District Commissioner sent his sweet-tongued messenger to the leaders of Umuofia asking them to meet him in his headquarters. That also was not strange. He often asked them to hold such
palavers, as he called them.
An obsolete definition of "palaver" is "a conference between European explorers and representatives of local populations, especially in Africa"--this is what the District Commissioner should've meant by his use of the word. However, his lack of respect for the Ibos suggests that he also connects to the chosen definition.
a region marked off for administrative or other purposes
That must not happen in the
dominion of our queen, the most powerful ruler in the world.
harass with persistent criticism or carping
At night the messengers came in to
taunt them and to knock their shaven heads together.
threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
Umuofia was like a startled animal with ears erect, sniffing the silent,
ominous air and not knowing which way to run.
make peace with
On the morning after the village crier's appeal the men of Umuofia met in the marketplace and decided to collect without delay two hundred and fifty bags of cowries to
appease the white man.
The definition makes the act of appeasing the white man seem like the right and happy thing to do. But missing in the definition are the words "by giving what is demanded." Achebe makes his view of this appeasement clear when he describes the court messengers increasing the fine to profit off it.
Our dead fathers are weeping because of the shameful
sacrilege they are suffering and the abomination we have all seen with our eyes."
more than is needed, desired, or required
One of the most infuriating habits of these people was their love of
superfluous words, he thought.
firm in purpose or belief
resolute administrator in him gave way to the student of primitive customs.
an action that arouses disgust or abhorrence
"It is an
abomination for a man to take his own life. It is an offense against the Earth, and a man who commits it will not be buried by his clansmen. His body is evil, and only strangers may touch it. That is why we ask your people to bring him down, because you are strangers."
Okonkwo spent his life proving he's not like his father, but he chooses a death that's an abomination, which is a word that also describes Unoka's death from the swelling. Unoka was carried to the Evil Forest and left there to die and rot. Okonkwo's body has to be cut down by strangers and buried like a dog. Knowing this, Okonkwo could have chosen his method of suicide to defy both the clan that didn't support him and the British who wanted to hang him for killing their messenger.
actions taken by a government to defeat insurgency
He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The
Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.