Vol. 5, Issue 6 (2019)
An Arrow in White Men’s Bow: Fukuyama’s Treatment of Megalothymia in Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God
Author(s): Smarand Avestan, Mohammad Hossein Gharib
Abstract: Chinua Achebe (1930-2013) is reputed for creating volatile characters and demarcating dichotomies between their dispositions. One of these ambiguous characters in Achebe’s Arrow of God (1964) is the Chief Priest of Ulu, known as Ezeulu, whose ambivalent desires move in parallels. To reveal this ambivalence, the aim of this paper is to describe Ezeulu’s megalothymia who, as the Chief Priest of Ulu, rather than being a quintessential symbol of Igbo culture and trusting in his own people, hinges on the British colonizers to remain Umuaro’s cynosure. Furthermore, it will be exposed that Ezeulu’s desire to be seen superior than his local villagers occasions the legitimizing of the white colonizers’ judgment and domesticates their presence. Drawing on Fukuyama’s ‘quest for glory’, it will be exposed that both Ezeulu and white colonizers are pursuing the same objectives, which is experiencing megalothymia. In this sense, the focus is on Ezeulu’s ambivalent interaction with the white colonizers and, precisely put, his decision to take revenge on villagers by gambling on truth, sadistically, in three different phases. Consequently, his gambles contribute to the collapse of traditional structures, and particularly abandoning Ulu, a deity who is the symbol of Igbo culture and Umuaro’s unison.