Okonkwo, By Chinua Achebe Essay

Okonkwo, By Chinua Achebe Essay

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Okonkwo was the son of Unoka, and Unoka was know in all of Umuofia as a poor coward who never paid back his debts. From the day Unoka died, Okonkwo vowed to never be like his father. Instead, Okonkwo was the complete opposite being described as wealthy but frugal, brave, violent and stubbornly opposed to music and anything else that was perceived “soft” such as, conversation and emotion. In regards to his wealth he married 3 wives and his 3 wives bore him 7 children all together. Of his 7 children he favored Ezinma his only child with Ekwefi his second wife, and did not approve or agree with his oldest son Nwoye’s actions. Okonkwo more than anything valued manliness, his own and others. During the time in this book when Ezinma is taken by Chielo the priestess of Umuofia and the Oracle of the goddess Agbala is when the author Chinua Achebe is allowing us insight on Okonkwo’s emotions towards Ezinma and Ekwefi. Chinua is showing us that Okonkwo does indeed have “soft” emotions such as tenderness and how he as father and husband cares for his daughter and wife. During the time in the book when the white man comes to stay in Umuofia among the Umuofians, Okonkwo was not able to adapt to the wavering times.Okonkwo did not learn from his behavior and in the end Okonkwo’s manliness, rash behavior, anger and violence caused his own destruction. Okonkwo’s character is a static character in the sense that he never learns from his mistakes, but shows room for improvement.
Out of Okonkwo’s 7 children his oldest Nwoye gave him the most grief. He believed his son Nwoye possessed his father Unoka’s qualities and found him weak and lazy. Nwoye grows trying to please his father Okonkwo by scorning all feminine things like his mother’s stories w...

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... Apart Chinua Achebe the author shows us that the women are also subjected to violence from their husbands when they feel she has earned it. Also, the women are seen as property of the men and not as individual women. Women in this culture are essentially bought with yams and palm wine and are then their ownership is passed to their new husband. When the missionaries came to Umuofia I think it gave the women who were brave enough to go against their husbands the chance to seek freedom from their bondage. These women were capable of joining the Christian faith and along with that acquire an education and no longer have to disgard their children when they bare twins. These changes offer a new more independent life possibility for the women and Umuofia and I think that is one of the only positives the Christian missionaries brought to the village of Umuofia and Mbanta.

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