The character of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart was driven by fear, a fear of change and losing his self-worth. He needed the village of Umuofia, his home, to remain untouched by time and progress because its system and structure were the measures by which he assigned worth and meaning in his own life. Okonkwo required this external order because of his childhood and a strained relationship with his father, which was also the root of his fears and subsequent drive for success. When the structure of Umuofia changed, as happens in society, Okonkwo was unable to adapt his methods of self-evaluation and ways of functioning in the world; the life he was determined to live could not survive a new environment and collapsed around him.
Upon an initial reading of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, it is easy to blame the demise of Okonkwo’s life and of the Umofia community on the imperialistic invasions of the white men. After all, Okonkwo seemed to be enjoying relative peace and happiness before then. He did have a few mishaps; one of them resulted in him being exiled for eight years. Nonetheless, he returned to his home town with high spirits and with prospects of increased success. However, everything has changed. The white men have brought with them a new religion and a new government. Okonkwo’s family falls apart. The men in his village lose their courage and valor; they do not offer any resistance to the white men. Consequently, Okonkwo kills himself in disgrace and Umofia succumbs to the white men. However, the white men are not the only people responsible for demise of Umofia. The Igbo culture, particularly their views on gender roles, sows the seed of their own destruction. By glorifying aggressive, manly traits and ignoring the gentle, womanly traits, Umofia brings about its own falling apart.
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.
In the novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, a cultural clash between Ibo culture and Western culture was assessed through fictional literature. Several characters reacted to this in their unique ways, either by accepting or rejecting European beliefs. However, the character Okonkwo, a proud, strong and well respected warrior in the Igbo Society had a significant reaction to the new culture. When the new, western culture comes to Igbo society, Okonkwo, of Clan Umuofia, responds by using violence as the only choice. This decision carried dire consequences, and lead to Oknonkwo’s death.
He was in great conflict with the ideas of the white men and the missionaries. Okonkwo saw that their beliefs had not only changed the daily life of the Ibo, but it also changed the people themselves: “He mourned for the warlike men of Umuofia, who had so unaccountably become soft like women” (Achebe 183). The author uses strong diction to compare the men before and after colonization. This quote also portrays Okonkwo’s opinion towards the cultural collision. He values strength and masculinity immensely because of his fear of appearing weak like his father Unoka. When he describes that the men of Umuofia changed to be soft like women, this shows how much he dishonors the Western ideas and how it has taken over the village. He made an attempt to get rid of the Western influence by urging the tribe to fight like men, but they refuse to. He was determined and still attempted to furthermore encourage the people of Umuofia to revolt against the new culture. He realizes that his attempts to return the village back to the way it was before were futile. He knew that Christianity was tearing his people apart, but knew he was incapable of making change to help his people. Okonkwo then starts to feel hopeless and abandoned by his clan, which causes him to commit suicide by hanging himself: “Obierika… turned suddenly to the District Commissioner and said ferociously: ‘That man was one of the greatest men
In Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is an extremely complex character who experiences a variety of emotions which he has a difficult time controlling. He experiences a never ending battle of psychosomatic symptoms, starting with his obsession over the conflict of the past with his father, Unoka. Okonkwo portrays himself as a heroic, strong warrior, only to mask the feelings of intense anger, fear, and selfishness that provokes him, which inevitably leads him down the same path as his father. He feels a strong hatred towards his father because he believes that his father had no masculine qualities, he owed everyone money, and owned no titles. Achebe states:
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.
...ociety so weakens and depresses Okonkwo that he takes his own life by hanging. Hanging is looked to as a very disgraceful death in today’s society and ancient societies.
Throughout the entire novel of “Thing fall Apart” by Achebe’s we can see how the main character called Okonkwo became the strongest person in the village of Umofia. Okonkwo did so many things in the village that make him a great warrior among his friend and the member of the Umofia. Okonkwo is a guy who likes strong people because he thinks they can accomplished what they want through they boldness mind, and that is why Okonkwo don’t get along with his father because he always see his father as a weak person. The act of commit suicide of Okonkwo is when he came back to his village Umofia, Okonkwo notice that things are change in the village under the colonialism and that pissed Okonkwo off because he think that the village should not allow white people to control their village or their culture. Okonkwo realizes that his village has changes in three ways which is, religion, government and economic. All this affect Okonkwo life, he doesn’t know how to couple with the new change.
Life is never easy; it often takes unexpected turns, where one finds himself in a situation that was unimaginable before. This is what happens to Okonkwo in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Okonkwo was one of the great clansmen in the village of Iguedo, where he proved himself to be a prominent contributor as a farmer and warrior to the clan, unlike his father, who was considered a failure in terms of masculinity. Due to an unfortunate accident, in which Okonkwo’s gun fires and kills a young man, Okonkwo is exiled to his motherland, loosing not only his farm and compound, but also the prestige that he has built for himself over the years, which strengthened his own belief in his masculinity. Okonkwo views his exile as a tragedy, yet he is welcomed and accepted by his uncle, who provides a new beginning for him and his family. However, this is mostly unappreciated by Okonkwo, who continues to consider himself as part of the Iguedo clan and focuses on his return, where he is going to build himself an even greater life than before.
The book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a very in depth book about Nigeria. It describes what their culture is like and how their traditions are different than how most believe are normal. In the book one of the main characters, Okonkwo, suffers many deaths. Okonkwo died in almost all ways when he killed Ikemefuna. A death is a irreversible change. Death can be presented in different ways such as physically, emotionally, politically, and economically. There isn 't just one kind of death.
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 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.
Okonkwo and the people of the Ibo village have displayed some type of savagery in human nature. Okonkwo was always fighting when he did not have anything to say, he was not afraid to fight, instead he loved it. Okonkwo has sacrificed Ikemefuna, a boy who had lived with him for three years and had once called him father. Okonkwo has had difficulty dealing with people who disrespect him during difficult times; his only way in responding was pulling his machete out, and decapitating anyone who does so. Around the world, everyone has once committed a savage act; it is in our nature as humans that we do so. Savagery was used by our ancestors; it was the only way to survive in the world and still is in some