Due to Okonkwo wanting to be the complete opposite of his father, he turned out to be a wealthy man with three wives and eight children. Okonkwo was also a warrior of the Umuofia clan. He was terrified to turn out like his father; his actions bring a lot of trouble, which affects himself and his family. Throughout the novel, Chinua shows the troubles that Okonkwo goes through due to his stubbornness and bad decisions such as beating his wife during the week of peace, which was not right because that week was supposed to be peaceful without any violence. Another example was when Okonkwo killed the slave that he was keeping with him which was considered as another wrong decision because he wasn’t supposed to take part in the killing. The last strike that Okonkwo was given was when everyone was at the funeral of the man who had the divine message to kill the slave and Okonkwo accidently shot the deceased man’s son, which made the village not happy at all. After this, Okonkwo was sent into exile for seven years (Achebe, 124). A couple years later, missionaries from North America came to the village and started preaching the gospel. This is where colonialism was becoming a huge
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.
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.
... did not come without consequences, the final punishment for his actions was his clan refusing to go to war and him committing suicide by hanging. A second consequence of his violent reaction was the rift he had created between himself and his family, when he attacked his son, threatening to murder him; he was stopped by his uncle, who implied that Okonkwo had become insane. Perhaps the worst consequence of Okonkwo’s actions was the fact that he not only died by suicide and his clan had forsaken him, he died a disgrace like his father. Okonkwo became a bitter exile and spent his life not trying to become like his disgraceful father, when he returned from exile, he tried to rebuild his lost reputation. Instead, in full irony, he dies with a destroyed reputation and shares his father’s fate as a disgrace to his people.
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
...his position in the community changed. However, as the missionaries entered the community and started to convert citizens, Okonkwo viewed this occurrence as a threat to his success and fame. Being resistance to the alteration of the culture of Umofia, Okonkwo begins to act violent, which is specifically shown when he attacks Nwoye. In addition, Okonkwo starts to question why his son is “degenerate and effeminate”, showing another example to his resistance to change. Lastly, Okonkwo kills one of the missionaries. This event in the story reveals the dark and villainous side of Okonkwo to the community of Umofia and to the reader. In conclusion, Okonkwo’s resistance to change to keep his position in the community the same causes his significance to disappear, leaving only a violent and villainous character that does not have a large impact in the community any longer.
In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo was one of the strongest proponents of violence against the white missionaries. Throughout the book, he advocated for violence while be outnumbered by his fellow natives who objected. Near the end of the book, he had had enough. During a village meeting gathered to discuss what to do about the white missionaries, a messenger for the missionaries arrived to tell them the meeting had been ordered to be stopped. “In a flash Okonkwo drew his machete. The messenger crouched to avoid the blow. It was useless. Okonkwo’s machete descended twice and the man’s head lay beside his uniformed body”.3 The man had been killed. Shortly after, Okonkwo hanged himself on a tree. Violence was by far the most disruptive response to to the presence of white missionaries in Africa. It was the only response that led to deaths. Not only was the violence disruptive, it was also ineffective. In the last paragraph of the book, the Commissioner of the missionaries articulated how Okonkwo’s actions would make a good paragraph in the book he planned to write. Violence against missionaries was disruptive and led to death for both the locals and the
Okonkwo crumbled under the newly developed society of the white man in Umofia. He could no longer act on his fury, vehemence or impetuousness, because acting in those non-compliant ways got him no further advancement and was frowned upon. Okonkwo lost his mental composure and everything in his life went to pieces because of it. His lack of sensitivity and understanding of those different from him handicapped his entire life. Okonkwo’s strength was further proven to have many fallacies because he was not strong in the important aspects of having composure and not acting on impulse. He could no longer control the people around him, nor his own life so he became misfortune of a classic tragedy.
Set in Africa in the 1890s, Chinua Achebe's ‘Things Fall Apart’ is about the tragedy of Okonkwo during the time Christian missionaries arrived and polluted the culture and traditions of many African tribes. Okonkwo is a self-made man who values culture, tradition, and, above all else, masculinity. Okonkwo’s attachment to the Igbo culture and tradition, and his own extreme emphasis on manliness, is the cause of his fall from grace and eventual death.
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.
Okonkwo was deeply grieved. And it was not just a personal grief. He mourned for the clan, which he saw breaking up and falling apart, and he mourned for the warlike men of Umofia, Who had so unaccountably become soft like women.
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.
In Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is a tragic hero. Aristotle’s Poetics defines a Tragic Hero as a good man of high status who displays a tragic flaw (“hamartia”) and experiences a dramatic reversal (“peripeteia”), as well as an intense moment of recognition (“anagnorisis”). Okonkwo is a leader and hardworking member of the Igbo community of Umuofia whose tragic flaw is his great fear of weakness and failure. Okonkwo’s fall from grace in the Igbo community and eventual suicide, makes Okonkwo a tragic hero by Aristotle’s definition.
Overall, Okonkwo is a crucial part to the story Things Fall Apart, for he represents African culture, and helps demonstrate how colonization can change everything. Through this book we see how colonization changed history, and how it is important for groups, tribes, societies to stay together in times of invasion, in order to protect their own customs and traditions; and how crucial a sense of unity would've been for the Umuofian tribe. Okonkwo was the sense of unity of the tribe, doing everything he could could to protect it. His collection of honorable titles, his love for his tribes culture, his drive and passion, and even his booming pride all contribute to his district character, a true hero in my eyes.
The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a story that opens the reader's mind to an entirely different way of living in a Nigerian village. Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930, perhaps this is why he writes a whole book on a Nigerian village and introduces to us the ways of life for the Nigerian people. From the first page of the book to the last, Achebe allows the reader to enter the mind of the main character Okonkwo. Okonkwo is the leader of his village and is very respected for his many achievements. Although Okonkwo means well for his village, the novel invites the reader to see him has a flawed character who eventually suffers from the consequences of bad "masculine" decisions he makes throughout the book.