The Theme Of Identity In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

2049 Words9 Pages
Recent events in an American soldier 's life, Spc. Laurel Cox, a Patriot missile specialist assigned to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, have indicated the true struggle men and women go through everyday just to live a normal life. Laurel Cox experienced multiple difficult injuries that she has to live with, but she wakes up every day and fights her hardest not to give up. She controls her life and does not allow anything or anyone to push her off her goals. Similar issues of identity play out in Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe’s novel that deals with difficult hardships the individual must ascertain with through one’s daily life. In contrast to Laurel Cox, the novel discusses an alternate and not so axiomatic way of dealing with such difficulties,…show more content…
In some misfortunate cases, this is not the situation and a child grows to loathe his parents. The children that are put into these situations are bound for one of two circumstances: rising up to success or falling down to failure. This condition becomes very germane to Okonkwo as he grows up and becomes a man. For instance, through the over exaggeration of the phrase “inherit a barn,” the speaker emphasizes the fact that Unoka, Okonkwo’s father, proves deficient in providing a pithy of resources for his family. Due to the values treasured most in the Igbo Tribe, one could consider him a bad father: “Okonkwo did not have the start in life which many young men usually had. He did not inherit a barn from his father. There was no barn to inherit”(Achebe 16). Here, the text suggests that Okonkwo has a very difficult life from the beginning. He is faced with many challenges as a young child, including his father, which relates directly to his fall later in the book. This sense of abandonment is present throughout the novel during Okonkwo’s life. Through the repetition of the noun “fear,” the speaker emphasizes Okonkwo’s true reality, his fear of nothing but himself. Despite all of Okonkwo’s pugnacious manliness, he is ruled by fear – a profound fear of being deemed weak and feminine, like his father: “Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear,…show more content…
For instance, in Chapter One, through the exaggeration of the noun “fame,” the speaker emphasizes Okonkwo’s reputation within the nine lands. Due to this social status, Okonkwo constantly has to maintain a certain level of expectation in his own mind to please the people of his lands. Over time, one will eventually fail to do this at all moments, and it is at this time that everyone will see through the fraudulent performance he has been undergoing for the past years: “Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid personal achievements”(3). Just as the speaker describes Okonkwo 's ultimate demise through self-made standards, so too does he iterate in Chapter Eight, through the repetition of “ozo,” that Okonkwo is emphasizing the importance of the “ozo” title and his respected social status. He tells of other clans disrespecting the title and handing it to any beggar that asks, yet it should be held in high esteem for only the elite members of society. This is very important when it comes to Okonkwo’s ultimate demise. As the novel goes on, Okonkwo is becoming more and more centered around his social status and the opinions of his peers throughout the clan. At one point or another Okonkwo will no longer be able to hold such a high
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