Okonkwo's Suicide

analytical Essay
505 words
505 words

In Chinua Achebe’s book, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is the main character who is greatly honored in the society Umuofia, which consists of nine villages. Okonkwo had always been a greatly respected man even though at times he was violent, a male chauvinist, and was very enraged. At the end of the novel, Okonkwo commits suicide by hanging himself. He commits suicide since he does not feel like a part of his clan and has become weak for he can not fight the white men that are destroying the society. Everything Okonkwo ever worked for in his life, as well as his place as a man, was lost at the arrival of the Evangelists and missionaries and the spread of Christianity. Okonkwo's biggest fear was weakness, since his father was seen as a weak man …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how okonkwo's suicide created a break in the igbo culture in chinua achebe’s book, things fall apart.
  • Analyzes how okonkwo's death symbolized the end of the igbo culture in umuofia.

It is an offence against the Earth, and a man who commits it will not be buried by his clansmen. His body is evil, and only strangers may touch it” (Achebe 207). In the Igbo culture, deaths are very well respected and they have the correct ceremonies for when a person dies but suicide is not accepted. Suicide is against Igbo beliefs, therefore traditional burial ceremonies are broken and only strangers may touch the body and bury it. Sacrifices must be made in order for the area to be cleansed from the desecrated land. Okonkwo's death caused Obierika to get mad at the district commissioner and he tells him that, “That man was one of the greatest men in Umuofia. You drove him to kill himself and now he will be buried like a dog” (Achebe 208). Okonkwo tries so hard not to be like his father, being a unworthy and disrespected man, but when he commits suicide all the honor and respect he had gained was lost. Okonkwo’s death symbolized the death of the Igbo culture since he was the one maintaining the old ways of culture and with all the newcomers, missionaries and new religion all of the old culture begins to change. As the life of the once highly honored Okonkwo came to an end, the Igbo culture in Umuofia came to its end as

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