This pressure leads him to kill a child that calls him father. Okonkwo doesn’t wish to look weak in front of his fellow tribesmen, so he cuts the boy down despite the Oracle’s message. “He heard Ikemefuna cry, “My father they have killed me!” as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (Achebe 61). Okonkwo is unable to express a normal human emotion, such as grief, because he is crippled by the opinions of others. Okonkwo does not have the ability to express his true feelings and therefore is enslaved by the sense of masculinity he feels he must portray. His only ability to express his feelings comes only through violence and
In these few chapters that we read, we have already learned a lot about Okonkwo, his life, and how he shows sympathy to some, but to others he is heartless. Okonkwo is other wise known as an unsympathetic person. Okonkwo is a clan leader of umuofia who holds many titles and is well known among his people. Okonkwo's daily life consists of tending to the three yam farms he has produced and to make numerous offerings to numerous gods and to help himself and his family. Okonkwo's personality is hard driven, since his father did not provide for him and his family Okonkwo had to start man hood early and this led him to be very successful in his adulthood, Okonkwo is an unsympathetic character who only shows sympathy rarely because he believes it's a sign of weakness Okonkwo's family relationships make him a sympathetic character because when his children show signs of manliness or do their jobs right he shows sympathy towards them. He is an unsympathetic character because whenever he get a little mad he has to take his anger out on something and that is usually vented by beating his wife's.
Okonkwo has a very harsh personality where things need to be done the way he likes it. Okonkwos’s temper has been shown in the novel to get the better of him sometimes and it ends up getting him into trouble. Also Okonkwo has a masculinity complex that makes him feel the need to do anything that doesn’t make him seem feminine, even if that may be to kill somebody like Ikemefuna. The last lines of Ikemefuna in the novel were “My Father, they have killed me!”(Achebe 61) before Okonkwo drew his machete and took Ikemefuna’s life. Okonkwo said that he did this because he didn’t want to seem weak and feminine. Okonkwo was also warned by Ogbuefi Ezeudu not to take part in Ikemefuna’s death but he does it anyway. Okonkwo was also exiled because of an accidental murder of Ogbuefi Ezeudu’s daughter because Okonkwo’s gun went off without him actually shooting it. He had to leave Umofia for seven years and according to Okonkwo, when he left the clan became weak and eventually fell to the Christian...
... did not come without consequences, the final punishment for his actions was his clan refusing to go to war and him committing suicide by hanging. A second consequence of his violent reaction was the rift he had created between himself and his family, when he attacked his son, threatening to murder him; he was stopped by his uncle, who implied that Okonkwo had become insane. Perhaps the worst consequence of Okonkwo’s actions was the fact that he not only died by suicide and his clan had forsaken him, he died a disgrace like his father. Okonkwo became a bitter exile and spent his life not trying to become like his disgraceful father, when he returned from exile, he tried to rebuild his lost reputation. Instead, in full irony, he dies with a destroyed reputation and shares his father’s fate as a disgrace to his people.
Okonkwo crumbled under the newly developed society of the white man in Umofia. He could no longer act on his fury, vehemence or impetuousness, because acting in those non-compliant ways got him no further advancement and was frowned upon. Okonkwo lost his mental composure and everything in his life went to pieces because of it. His lack of sensitivity and understanding of those different from him handicapped his entire life. Okonkwo’s strength was further proven to have many fallacies because he was not strong in the important aspects of having composure and not acting on impulse. He could no longer control the people around him, nor his own life so he became misfortune of a classic tragedy.
In another part of the story, Okonkwo is banished from his fatherland. This incident is the first where he is punished greatly for his actions. It marks a turning point in Okonkwo's downfall, and therefore the downfall of the traditional culture that he stands for. His hopes and aspirations are almost forgotten while he is away from Umuofia, and he desperately tries to regain his status when he returns. During this period of time, Okonkwo also discovers that his son has converted to his enemy's ways and beliefs. He abandons his son, and doesn't want to be his father any longer. This shows that his relationships with family and other people are beginning to 'fall apart';.
“They will take him outside Umofia, as is the custom, and kill him there. But I want you to have nothing to do with it. He calls you his father. (57)” This quote explains that Ogbuefi expresses concern for Okonkwo, because the Oracle explains how it would be wrongful of Okonkwo to kill Ikemefuna. “Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak. (61)” This quote portrays that Okonkwo completely disregarded what Ogbuefi and the Oracle cautioned him about, because he was too concerned about his status of what others thought of him. “At last the man was named and people sighed “E-u-u, Ezeudu is dead.” A cold shiver ran down Okonkwo’s back as he remembered the last time the old man had visited him. (121)” At this point in the story, it appears that Okonkwo is starting to realize his wrongdoings, primarily because he takes religion and his spiritual life very seriously, in regards towards the Oracle. Okonkwo begins to lose trust within his family, especially with Nwoye. (As mentioned in the previous paragraph.) In the beginning of the book, Okonkwo relied on Ikemefuna to help Nwoye become more masculine and tough. After Ogbuefi warns Okonkwo about taking part in the murder, Okonkwo thinks about what could happen to him once the gods find out. Once again, Okonkwo lets his emotions
Things fall apart. It is life things eventually fall apart. Achebe named his book about a man learning from his failures and his punishments becoming a better man because his life is falling apart. Achebe named his book Things Fall Apart which is an allusion to the poem “Second Coming” which is about an end of the world scenario. He used it as an allusion to make a connection between Okonkwo’s life “ending” from his point of view and the second coming end of world scenario of the Christians.
Okonkwo is “a man of action, a man of war” (7) and a member of high status in the Igbo village. He holds the prominent position of village clansman due to the fact that he had “shown incredible prowess in two intertribal wars” (5). Okonkwo’s hard work had made him a “wealthy farmer” (5) and a recognized individual amongst the nine villages of Umuofia and beyond. Okonkwo’s tragic flaw isn’t that he was afraid of work, but rather his fear of weakness and failure which stems from his father’s, Unoka, unproductive life and disgraceful death. “Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and weakness….It was not external but lay deep within himself. It was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father.” Okonkwo’s father was a lazy, carefree man whom had a reputation of being “poor and his wife and children had just barely enough to eat... they swore never to lend him any more money because he never paid back.” (5) Unoka had never taught Okonkwo what was right and wrong, and as a result Okonkwo had to interpret how to be a “good man”. Okonkwo’s self-interpretation leads him to conclude that a “good man” was someone who was the exact opposite of his father and therefore anything that his father did was weak and unnecessary.
It is another to sympathies for a man who believes he is powerful and respected by many when in reality, he is feared by his own family and that is another reason that leads Okonkwo to his downfall. He started positive, motivated but down the line, Okonkwo treats his wives and children very harshly. When the author mentioned, “Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did his little children” (pg.13). This is not power but a weakness when Okonkwo uses power to rule his own house, detaching himself from the emotional connection with this family rather than being frightening to live with. The sign of “gentleness” as like his father means weakness to Okonkwo even with his own family. Especially his wives, when the narrator demonstrated the lack of emotion to his wife, “Okonkwo was provoked to justifiable anger by his young wife, went to plait her hair at her friend’s house and did not return early enough to cook the afternoon meal… He walked back to his obi to await Ojiugo’s return. And when she returned he beat her very heavily. In his anger he had forgotten that it was the Week of Peace…But Okonkwo was not the man to stop beating somebody half –way through, not even for fear of a goddess” (pg.29-30). Okonkwo does not even fear the goddess and the Week of Peace and ends up beating his wife to show that he owes
In the beginning chapters (Chapter 4) Okonkwo did not have a very good relationship with his two sons. He was a slightly more caring man when Ikemefuna was sick. But when they were assisting him in planting the seeds for the crops all he did was belittle them and make them feel bad about themselves and how they were completing the task at hand. By the end of this group of chapters (Chapter 7), his sons had loosened up to him and seemed to feel more open to how they had been treated. Although how Okonkwo acted was not okay, the relationship between them did strengthen and as he became more proud of his son, specifically Ikemefuna, he grew to like Okonkwo more. The end of the chapter however, showed that deep down the true colors of Okonkwo shined
Seeing the line “Things fall apart” in the poem , Achebe makes an outstanding association. At this point in time he says to himself, “I should name my book Things Fall Apart, It will show the main idea of the book.”
Fear of failure and weakness dominates Okonkwo throughout his life. At first this fear motivates him to rise to success by working diligently and doing everything his father did not do. However, even when Okonkwo establishes an honorable reputation, fear of failure continues to overwhelm him and drives him to perform acts that lead to his suffering. One example of this is when the men of Umuofia decide that Ikemefuna must be killed and Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna even though he is told not to partake in the killing of Ikemefuna. Okonkwo panics when Ikemefuna turns to him and cries for help, and without thinking, Okonkwo slays Ikemefuna with his machete. Okonkwo does this because in the split second where Ikemefuna runs to Okonkwo for protection, Okonkwo is overpowered with fear of being seen as weak and kills Ikemefuna. This is an unwise act on behalf of Okonkwo, and as a result, he suffers emotionally in the next few days. He enters a stage of depression and cannot eat or sleep as all he can think about is what he has done to Ikemefuna. It is at this point that things start t...
Okonkwo’s determination to succeed in life and to not fail leads to his fatal downfall in the end of the novel. His inability to adapt to colonization and his failure to follow the morals of many of the morals of the Ibo culture also are an important key leading to his downfall. Okonkwo was willing to go to war against the missionaries, with or without the clan. He made it clear that he believed the missionaries were in the wrong for trying to change Umuofia. Since the clan wanted no part in the war with the missionaries, Okonkwo took action into his own hands and murdered the head messenger. During the killing of the messenger, Okonkwo had a moment of realization: “He knew that Umuofia would not go to war. He knew because they had let the other messengers escape. They had broken into tumult instead of action” (Achebe 205). Okonkwo finally understands that he doesn’t have support from his fellow clansmen anymore and he feels as if he loses his place in society. Instead of backing up Okonkwo and his decision to murder the messenger, the clan stood in both confusion and disorder and questioned, “ ‘Why did [Okonkwo] do it?’ ” (Achebe 205). Okonkwo’s impulsiveness causes the clansmen to question Okonkwo’s violent actions against the messenger. Throughout the entire novel, Okonkwo struggles to accept the missionaries and the changes that they