Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1844 Words8 Pages
Chinua Achebe’s “Things fall apart” is a story about a man named Okonkwo who is successful and physically strong. However, Okonkwo is emotionally unavailable and afraid that he will be seen as weak and that others will compare him to his father. The book’s peak is when Okonkwo does something considered immoral by killing a boy who he had taken in and raised as his own for three years, because he did not want to be seen as weak. Okonkwo is ruled by one obsession and that is to hate everything that his father had loved. Okonkwo’s birthright was fear, fear that he would become like his father. His whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness. The irony in the story is that Okonkwo’s life ends much like his father’s had ended. Both father and son died in ways that were considered appalling with Unoka dying from swelling and Okonkwo taking his own life. Okonkwo struggles to do everything differently than his father which results in Okonkwo bringing pain to his family, becoming an arrogant person, and ending his life in a way that is considered an abomination to the tribe. Okonkwo was ashamed of his father for never having taken any titles or having wealth during his lifetime. Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, was idle and careless but he was also poetic and sensitive. Unoka never thought about the future, he just thought about living in the moment. Music is what brought Unoka to life, he loved to play his flute and when he did his face beamed with blessedness and peace. Unoka was a lover of beauty and a admirer of joy, but he was well acquainted with sorrow and the contempt of his fellow clansman (Scheub, 2003.) Even as child, Okonkwo felt resentful towards his father because he was lazy and he borrowed money from ot... ... middle of paper ... ...him look down upon those who had not yet achieved the same success. He feared failure and weakness so much that it destroyed his life. He ended his life because he no longer had the will to live in a tribe that he found weak and womanly and killed himself because to him everything had fallen apart. Works Cited Cobham R. (2002). Modern Critical Interpretations: Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Retrieved from apart/center-resources.html Iyasere S. (1998). Understanding Things Fall Apart: Selected Essays and Criticism. Retrieved from resources.html Scheub H. (2003). Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart: A Casebook. Retrieved from

More about Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Open Document