The Theme Of Fear In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

analytical Essay
1481 words
1481 words

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. From an early age, Okonkwo was ashamed of his father, Unoka, who was unable even to feed his family. The unpredictability of receiving enough food at a young age was enough to inspire fear and embarrassment in Okonkwo who associated this embarrassment with his father and was given further justification for these feelings when he went out into Umuofia, discovering that the …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the character of okonkwo in chinua achebe's things fall apart was driven by fear, a fear of change and losing his self-worth.
  • Explains how okonkwo was ashamed of his father, unoka, who was unable to feed his family. the unpredictability of receiving enough food at a young age was enough to inspire fear and embarrassment.
  • Analyzes how okonkwo rejected the ways of his father, who was deeply indebted to other members of umuofia, holding no titles, to the point where his whole life was dominated by fear, failure, and weakness.
  • Analyzes how okonkwo's disparity between his true and warped motivations led him to behave in ways which shocked other members of umuofia with his apparent disregard for others.
  • Analyzes how the ibo ways faded through the novel, reaching a head in part two, bringing the downfall of okonkwo.
  • Analyzes how okonkwo didn't argue with the banishment that was the standard punishment when he accidentally killed another umuofia member during a funeral ceremony. obierika mourned his loss and questioned the reasoning behind the punishment.
  • Narrates how okonkwo's rebellion against his father continued when he was deprived of umuofia and the opportunity to fulfill his passion of becoming a clan lord.
  • Analyzes how okonkwo's suicide conformed to the ways of umuofia. the white men attracted the lowest positions and those who questioned the previous order.
  • Analyzes how okonkwo's resistance to change was irreversible and his final downfall as the ibo ways changed.

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

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