Things Fall Apart Quotes

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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.

380

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.

255

There is no story that is not true.

156

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.

144

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.

129

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.

105

Among the Igbo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.

99

Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness.It was deeper and more intimate that 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.Okonkwo’s fear was greater than these. It was not external but lay deep within himself.

84

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.

77

A child cannot pay for its mother’s milk.

60

It always surprised him when he thought of it later that he did not sink under the load of despair.

48

The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others.

46

You do not know me,’ said Tortoise. ‘I am a changed man. I have learned that a man who makes trouble for others makes trouble for himself.

41

Mosquito [...] had asked Ear to marry him, whereupon Ear fell on the floor in uncontrollable laughter. "How much longer do you think you will live?" she asked. "You are already a skeleton." Mosquito went away humiliated, and any time he passed her way he told Ear that he was still alive.

37

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.

30

The world is large, said Okonkwo. I have even heard that in some tribes a man’s children belong to his wife and her family.That cannot be, said Machi. You might as well say that the woman lies on top of the man when they are making the babies.

30

There was a saying in Umuofia that as a man danced so the drums were beaten for him.

26

When a man is at peace with his gods and ancestors, his harvest will be good or bad according to the strength of his arm.

24

If you had been poor in your last life I would have asked you to be rich when you come again. But you were rich. If you had been a coward, I would have asked you to bring courage. But you were a fearless warrior. If you had died young, I would have asked you to get life. But you lived long. So I shall ask you to come again the way you came before.

23

We do not ask for wealth because he that has health and children will also have wealth. We do not pray to have money but to have more kinsmen. We are better than animals because we have kinsmen. An animal rubs its itching flank against a tree, a man asks his kinsman to scratch him.

23

Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching.

21

He saw himself and his fathers crowding round their ancestral shrine waiting in vain for worship and sacrifice and finding nothing but ashes of bygone days..

16

He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.

11

To show affection was a sign of weakness; the only thing worth demonstrating was strength.

10

As our fathers said, you can tell a ripe corn by its look.

9

Fortunately, among these people a man was judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father.

8

Looking at a king's mouth, ' said an old man, 'one would think he never sucked at his mother's breast.

8

For whom is it well, for whom is it well?There is no one for whom it is well.

6

How do you think we can fight when our own brothers have turned against us? 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.

5

The air, which had been stretched taut with excitement, relaxed again.

4

I do not know how to thank you.''I can tell you,' said Obierika. 'Kill one of your sons for me.''That will not be enough,' said Okonkwo.'Then kill yourself,' said Obierika.

3

He who brings kola brings life.

3

When the moon is shining the cripple becomes hungry for a walk.

3

I am Fire-that-burns-without-faggots.

2

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.

2

Having spoken plainly so far, Okoye said the next half a dozen sentences in proverbs. Among the Ibo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.

2

There is no story that is not true," said Uchendu. "The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others.

2

Our elders say that the sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them.

2

A snake was never called by its name at night, because it would hear. It was called a string.

1

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.

1

The missionaries had come to Umuofia. They had built their church there, won a handful of converts and were already sending evangelists to the surrounding towns and villages.

1

Eneke the bird was asked why he was always on the wing and he replied: 'Men have learnt to shoot without missing their mark and I have learnt to fly without perching on a twig.'

1

Dicen nuestros mayores que el sol ha de alumbrar antes a los que están de pie que a los que se arrodillan bajo ellos.

1