"Obierika was a man who thought about things. When the will of the goddess had been done, he sat down in his obi and mourned his friend's calamity" (Achebe p.125).
Tears welled up in the corners of my eyes, but I did not dare to shed them. Perhaps the other men might think they were caused by the smoke, but they were not. My heart was heavy with sorrow for my dearest friend Okonkwo. It was all such a waste. The death was purely an accident, but that exploded gun had changed Okonkwo's life in an instant. I am always and will ever be loyal to the traditions of the clan, but I can not see how this destruction can help. Just a few hours ago I watched my friend flee, and now I am personally burning down his prized home. It may be the will of Agbala, but it is not my will...
- Obierika is a powerful clansman who is one of Okonkwo's closest friends. Although he is a strong believer in the tribe's religions and traditions, he questions the need for many of the rituals that are carried out. When we first meet Obierika, he is troubled by the deed of Ikemefuna's murder. He specifically warns Okonkwo not to be a part of it because the boy has grown to see him as a father figure. Obierika also declines from taking part in the killing himself because he felt it was a destructive decision, even if it was Agbala's will.
- Throughout the story, Obierika continually laments the traditions of the clan. He is saddened by the law that there must be palm wine because it kills many of the trees. He also regrets taking higher titles because it forbids him from tapping the trees himself.
- Obierika truly starts to question the traditions of the clan when Okonkwo is exiled for an accidental murder. Obierika is deeply saddened by his friend's troubles and while he offers to help Okonkwo all that he can, he is still obligated to help burn down his home and farm. This experience leads him to start questioning other aspects of their culture such as the killing of twins. He himself personally had to leave his own twin children in the Evil Forest, which left a lasting impression on him.
The Ibo culture that Obierika has grown up in has shaped him in many ways. The expectations of society require him to take part in, or at least go along with many rituals that he personally does not agree with. Obierika sees problems within his culture, but he lets the pressure of society's views overpower him and keep him silent.