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Things Fall Apart book cover

Things Fall Apart Quotes

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.
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.
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.
There is no story that is not true.
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.
Among the Ibo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.
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.
The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others.
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.
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.
It always surprised him when he thought of it later that he did not sink under the load of despair.
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.
Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching.
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.
You might as well say that the woman lies on top of the man when they are making the babies.
You think you are the greatest sufferer in the world? Do you know that men are sometimes banished for life? Do you know that men sometimes lose all their yams and even their children? I had six wives once. I have none now except that young girl who knows not her right from her left. Do you know how many children I have buried—children I begot in my youth and strength? Twenty-two. I did not hang myself, and I am still alive.
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.
He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.
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.
When mother-cow is chewing grass its young ones watch its mouth.
Ogbuef Ezedudu,who was the oldest man in the village, was telling two other men when they came to visit him that the punishment for breaking the Peace of Ani had become very mild in their clan. "It has not always been so," he said. "My father told me that he had been told that in the past a man who broke the peace was dragged on the ground through the village until he died. but after a while this custom was stopped because it spoiled the peace which it was meant to preserve.
Unoka went into an inner room and soon returned with a small wooden disc containing a kola nut, some alligator pepper and a lump of white chalk. "I have kola," he announced when he sat down, and passed the disc over to his guest. "Thank you. He who brings kola brings life. But I think you ought to break it," replied Okoye passing back the disc. "No, it is for you, I think," and they argued like this for a few moments before Unoka accepted the honor of breaking the kola. Okoye, meanwhile, took the lump of chalk, drew some lines on the floor, and then painted his big toe.
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.
For whom is it well, for whom is it well? There is no one for whom it is well.