All through the book, Achebe gives his characters names with concealed meanings; for instance, Okonkwo's name suggests male pride and stubbornness. When Achebe introduces British characters, he gives two of them normal and unremarkable British names, Brown and Smith. His third British character, the District Commissioner, is known just by his title. Achebe has carefully selected the names to suit their roles in the society.
Achebe depicts Mr. Smith as a representation of the resolute Christian missionary in Africa. He is a fire-and-brimstone kind of evangelist, who compares Igbo religion to the prophets of Baal of the Old Testament and brands customary Igbo practices as crafted by the devil. Achebe recommends that the issue between Mr. Smith and the neighborhood individuals might be more than one of religion: "[Mr. Smith] saw things as black and white. And black was evil."
Mr. Smith teaches an uncompromising translation of the bible. He suspends a woman convert who permits an old Igbo conviction about the ogbanje to pollute her new Christian lifestyle. He marks this occurrence as "pouring new wine into old bottles," an act prohibited in the New Testament of the Christian Bible — "Neither do men put new wine into old bottles" (Matthew 9:17).
Achebe suggests that strict adherence to spiritual writings and strict application produces religious obsession. Enoch's unmasking of an egwugwu is depicted because of unbridled enthusiasm with religion. According to the Igbo culture, the egwugwu wear masks as a sign of the presence of the spirits. Thus, in the presence of the masks, it is the spirits rather than the humans that are present. The action of Enock, thus, was disrespectful to the spirits.