Characters And Emotions In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Never have I felt as much disappointment at the closing of a story as I have after Okonkwo’s death. The rising anger that swelled up inside of me after seeing how the Ibo culture fell apart has not been satiated. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart presents us with the very dynamic character of Okonkwo. As the novel progresses from start to finish we see many changes in his attitude and outlook on life. We see him change from a man who tries his best to hide his emotion but we see him slowly slip. We see him degrade from a strong man of action to a man who falls into despair and ultimately takes his own life. Okonkwo is a dynamic and complex character who evolves throughout the story and whose suicide lays the final touches in the destruction…show more content…
Throughout the tale we see Okonkwo struggle with the problem of emotion. Okonkwo struggles with showing, understanding, and dealing with his emotions. He is quick to anger and slow to affection. As the novel progresses we see him slowly start to show more signs off emotion. In the beginning of the novel we see the narrator state “Okonkwo never showed any emotion openly, unless it be the emotion of anger. To show affection was a sign of weakness; the only thing worth demonstrating was strength” (28). The emotion that we see the most from Okonkwo is most certainly anger. There are many instances when Okonkwo is so quick to anger that the reader and the narrator question his actions. During the week of peace Okonkwo beats his wife Ojiugo for forgetting to come home from a friend’s house in time for their afternoon meal. In this case Okonkwo was “provoked to justifiable anger by his youngest wife.” (29) However…show more content…
Okonkwo is the clear representation of tradition as his whole life depends on the traditional Ibo culture. The white man also very clearly represents the change that is almost always incapable of being stopped. During Okonkwo’s banishment, which he describes as “seven wasted and weary years,” (162) a Christian Church has established itself and brought along many of the white man’s customs. Okonkwo’s return to a changed culture is very jarring and he tries his best to reestablish the same position that he once had. Okonkwo “was determined that his return should be marked by his people.” (171) After Okonkwo returns and is disappointed that his return is not greatly celebrated he meets with Obierika and they discuss what has been happening. Their meeting concludes with the disappointing realization that “[they] had fallen apart.” (176) Okonkwo has been gone too long and has been unable to assist his people against the coming of the white
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