Character Analysis Of Okonkwo In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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In Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is an extremely complex character who experiences a variety of emotions which he has a difficult time controlling. He experiences a never ending battle of psychosomatic symptoms, starting with his obsession over the conflict of the past with his father, Unoka. Okonkwo portrays himself as a heroic, strong warrior, only to mask the feelings of intense anger, fear, and selfishness that provokes him, which inevitably leads him down the same path as his father. He feels a strong hatred towards his father because he believes that his father had no masculine qualities, he owed everyone money, and owned no titles. Achebe states:
‘…Unoka…In his day he was lazy and improvident and was quite
Incapable of thinking about tomorrow…Unoka was, of course a
Debtor, and he owed every neighbor some money from a few
Cowries to quite substantia amounts…’ (p. 1604).
According to Okonkwo, his fathers’ characteristics were considered feminine, he believes that no man should ever hold such qualities. Therefore, Okonkwo decides never to be like his father and does anything in his power to avoid it from happening. Once Okonkwo makes that decision, the
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Okonkwo fears failure and weakness because of his father, he also fears that all of his hard work and titles will be passed down to the hands of his weak feminine son, Nwoye who Okonkwo believes takes after his father Unoka. This instinctual drive becomes more visible when he portrays his aggressive behavior in multiple situations such as the beating of one of his wives which dishonored the week of peace, committing his first murder, and beating his children. His fear of being seen as week also drives him to cut down Ikemefuna despite his and his sons growing attachment to him. As Achebe puts
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