I was reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe which is set in pre-colonial Nigeria. During a ceremony where members of the clan of Umofia are hearing out cases the leaders who are dressed up as gods always say:

"Uzowulu's body, I salute you."

I found it really interesting how in this culture they salute the person's body whereas in western culture, for example, we recognize the person and their consciousness more than their body. I was wondering if this quote would classify as a form of figurative language and if so, which kind?

  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
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    Oct 9, 2022 at 20:31
  • I am asking about which form of figurative the above quotation uses. Oct 9, 2022 at 20:33
  • I don't believe this is a type of figurative language. This could very well be (as I understood it when I read it) meant to be taken literally.
    – cmw
    Oct 10, 2022 at 3:52

1 Answer 1


The text also includes the explanation.

Spirits always addressed humans as ‘bodies’.

From this my interpretation is that the language is intended to be literal, underlining the difference between spirits, who may temporarily occupy the bodies of clan members in order to deliver judgments etc, and humans who are firmly of the corporeal realm.

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