Many societies have beliefs rooted deep in ancient religion. Some beliefs include polygamy, polytheism, and patriarchy, or rule by men. One such culture is that of Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Polytheism and polygamy are custom in the clan, and the role of each family member is very defined. The men are overly domineering. The women and children are treated poorly and often beaten. Life in Achebe's Umuofia would seem very different to someone living in modern day America.
Okonkwo, in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, was faced with many hardships in his life. When growing up he had to deal with a lazy father, then when he was older he had to kill a boy that called him father, and he also accidentally killed a young boy from his village. These events played a very tragic role in Okonkwos life.
He transferred his fears into the context of Umuofia and the traits that society valued, but what was really the driving force in his decisions “was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father” (17). The values of Umuofia resembled the polar opposite of what Unoka was and Okonkwo twisted his motivations around in his mind and presented them to himself and the community as derived from Umuofia’s traditions. From this delusion, Okonkwo established his ultimate goal of becoming a revered member of the village, possessing many titles, and achieving anything necessary displaying his prominence in the
Okonkwo is the main character within the book, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe. Okonkwo is an individual whom has many different personalities that are portrayed in different situations. He can be a nice and welcoming individual but also an abusive and harmful individual. Before returning to Umofia, in which the missionaries had invaded, Okonkwo had grown up upon resenting his father’s laziness, devoting his time in proving that he was much better than his father. That he was more respectable and masculine. These were qualities in which Okonkwo’s father had lacked. Upon reaching Umofia, Okonkwo becomes more passive than he has ever been. While watching in sorrow and grief of the coming of the missionaries as he is unable to anything about. The missionaries had turned Okonkwo into a completely different individual. Changing him for the worst.
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
Throughout the novel of “Things Fall Apart” Okonkwo’s luck has not been the best. He killed a boy and accidentally shot another boy resulting in his banishment out of the tribe for seven years. While that event was unfolding, Okonkwo’s tribe was being colonized by British soldiers. The over-arching theme of the novel is what happens to the values that define Okonkwo's cultural community, when the traditions he fought so hard to sustain collapse in the ...
From birth Okonkwo had wanted his son, Nwoye, to be a great warrior like him. His son instead rebelled and wanted to be nothing like Okonkwo. Okonkwo would not change so that his son would idolize him, as he had wanted since his son's birth. He chose not to acknowledge his son's existence instead. This would weigh heavily on anyone's conscience, yet Okonkwo does not let his relationship with his son affect him in the least bit.
Culture makes us who we are. Each individual has their own culture from their experiences in life and is developed from societal influences. The various cultures around the world influence us in different ways which we experience at least once in our lifetime. There are occasions, especially in history, where cultures clash with one another. For instance, the English colonization in Africa changed their culture. Chinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart, portrayed this change in the Igbo people’s society, especially through the character Okonkwo in the village of Umuofia; the introduction of Western ideas challenged him. In the novel Things Fall Apart, the author Chinua Achebe introduces to us Okonkwo whose character’s response to the
Culture collisions are in our everyday lives here in America in our own little towns. We might not notice our culture changing because it is a part of our everyday lives. Culture collisions cause some people to triumph and some people to fail. In the novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the Ibo tribe did not see these culture clashes everyday until the “white men” showed up and influenced the Ibo to change their ways. Achebe shows how many of the characters react to this culture shock. Obierika is one of the main characters that shows his sense of identity through this culture collision.
Culture is the way of life for a group of people. Culture is one of the most important puzzle pieces of the book, Things Fall Apart. In the book, Thing Fall Apart, culture plays an enormous role in the dynamics of the book. Many people think African culture is silly and irrelevant, but to the African it is the only way of life that they know and practice. Examples of African cultures are the following: tradition, religion, holidays, language, art, etc. In the book, Things Fall Apart, culture is described and explained in several ways.
Okonkwo is often described as being similar to characters in Greek tragedies. Okonkwo knew that the end of his clan was coming, and that they would do nothing to prevent it from happening. He took his life out of desperation. He had struggled his whole life to become a respected member of his community, and suddenly his world is turned upside down and changed forever because of an accident. Okonkwo sees that he is fighting a losing battle, so he quits. Suicide was one of the biggest offenses that could be committed against the earth, and Okonkwo?s own clansmen could not bury him. Okonkwo?s death symbolizes the end of patriarchy in Umuofia. The last page of the book is from the point of view of the white Commissioner, who notes that he wants to include a paragraph on Okonkwo?s life in his book entitled The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of Lower Niger. Okonkwo?s struggles, triumphs and defeats are all reduced to a paragraph, much like his culture and society will be reduced.
Okonkwo sees his father’s gentleness as a feminine trait. He works hard to be as masculine as possible so that he will be the opposite of his father and overcome the shame his father brought to his family. Okonkwo deals with this struggle throughout the entire book, hiding the intense fear of weakness behind a masculine façade (Nnoromele 149). In order to appear masculine, he is often violent. In his desire to be judged by his own worth and not by the worth of his effeminate father, Okonkwo participates in the killing of a boy he sees as a son, even though his friends and other respected tribe members advise him against it. (Hoegberg 71). Even after the killing of Ikamefuna, Okonkwo hides his feelings of sadness because the emotions are feminine to him. He goes so far as to ask himself, “when did you become a shivering old woman” (Achebe 65), while he is inwardly grieving. The dramatic irony of the secret fears that Okonkwo has will open the reader’s eyes to how important gender identity is to him. This theme is also presented among Okonkwo’s children. He sees his oldest son, Nwoye, as feminine because he does not like to work as hard as his father (Stratton 29). When Nwoye eventually joins the Christian church, Okonkwo sees him as even more feminine. On the other hand, Okonkwo’s
Have you ever wondered what would happen when two cultures collide? Well in the novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, a culture clash takes place, with the main character Okonkwo’s village being overtaken by Christian white men seeking to influence and change his tribe and possibly other tribes.