Achebe Essay

750 Words2 Pages
In the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, change is a common key word used throughout the story. However, the meaning of this word to the characters in the story is looked upon as unusual. Okonkwo, being a highly viewed person in the community of Umofia, is resistant to change, knowing that change brings new modifications to the life of the community as well as his life. This resistance that is built up in him starts to modify his actions and thoughts, turning his character from a stern, serious role to a villainous character. When readers go farther into the story, they may only see that Okonkwo is this serious character, but there is something concealed in his façade. Behind this character, there is a fear from the threat of change that is hidden beneath. Okonkwo is resistant to the alterations being made in the community, but is actually changed himself over this hidden fear of change. As the missionaries stay and build their foundation in Umofia, Okonkwo begins to feels threatened by the change in the beliefs of the citizens. Okonkwo begins to turn into a violent, villainous character from his resistance of the altering of the community. At one point in the book, the villain that Okonkwo has contained inside him is shown when he exerts rage over this threat of change. This brutal individual is brought into perspective when Okonkwo is “suddenly overcome with fury, sprang to his feet and gripped him [Nwoye] by the neck” (151). In the need to express his anger, he becomes violent and threatens to kill Nwoye as a result of Nwoye changing his beliefs. With alterations affecting the community and his family, Okonkwo becomes a brutal individual due to the threat of change. As the story progresses, Okonkwo begins to question t... ... middle of paper ... ...his position in the community changed. However, as the missionaries entered the community and started to convert citizens, Okonkwo viewed this occurrence as a threat to his success and fame. Being resistance to the alteration of the culture of Umofia, Okonkwo begins to act violent, which is specifically shown when he attacks Nwoye. In addition, Okonkwo starts to question why his son is “degenerate and effeminate”, showing another example to his resistance to change. Lastly, Okonkwo kills one of the missionaries. This event in the story reveals the dark and villainous side of Okonkwo to the community of Umofia and to the reader. In conclusion, Okonkwo’s resistance to change to keep his position in the community the same causes his significance to disappear, leaving only a violent and villainous character that does not have a large impact in the community any longer.
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