Is violence ever the answer? The book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a fictional story about the Ibo tribe during the beginning years of the colonization of Africa. The protagonist Okonkwo is a quick-tempered and abusive man who leads a successful life in the village of Umuofia until he is forced into exile. While in exile in his motherland, European missionaries begin to show up to spread their faith. After returning from exile, the missionaries have grown in strength and control.
“Things fall apart, even when you think they’re stronger than you ever imagined.” ‘Things Fall Apart’, by Chinua Achebe is a book about about the struggles of an African man named Okonkwo and his families life falls apart right before their very eyes. It’s a son duty to carry on the families traditions in this tribe. Although in this story that’s not the case, Okonkwo struggles to get his eldest son Nwoye to act more like a man and less like a woman. Ezinma is Okonkwos favorite child and he wishes that she was a boy because she has all the traits and actions a young man should have. There was another boy named Ike that was almost a role model to Nwoye and almost had Okonkwo conviced his son was becoming a man.
Just like Okonkwo said “[...] and he mourned for the warlike men of Umuofia, who had so unaccountable become soft like women” (Achebe 183). Finally the craziness of change settles down, and Okonkwo can relax, until he and six other leaders are arrested and tortured in prison until a fine is paid off by the tribe. This infuriated Okonkwo to be looked down upon and seen as a weakling. He then declares that they must kill the white men immediately. “[...] I shall fight alone if I choose” (Achebe 201).
Things fall apart is a tragedy novel written by Chinua Achebe. Okonkwo, who is the protagonist of the novel and one of the most powerful men in the Ibo tribe often resorts to violence to make his points understood. Down in his heart, Okonkwo is not a cruel man, but his life is dominated by his internal conflict, the fear of failure and of weakness. He hated his father, Unoka, because he was a lazy debtor. Okonkwo made it a point in his life to set himself apart from his father by being well known and wealthy as well as becoming a great warrior in the tribal conflicts of Umuofia and the surrounding villages.
Successful and wealthy people farmed and Okonkwo was a good farmer which made him successful and wealthy. Okonkwo was a father but the two main ones were Nwoye and Ezinma. Okonkwo began to have failure when he went to his motherland and returned and the village was changed by the white men. Okonkwo wanted to be well known in Umuofia so therefore he had to become a leader of his village. Okonkwo was well known in Umuofia, he was one of the leaders for Umuofia.
They did not believe in women 's roles. Okonkwo verbally shut down the importance of woman in the society along with the other men and Ibo. When Okonkwo was upset with his wives or any other woman in his life he would abuse them to show who has a seniority. Letting the village exile him was disappointing because it showed that he no longer had power. Through committing suicide he held all the power in his life.
Everything Okonkwo is doing is because he “was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and weakness.” This indicates that everything Okonkwo is doing is because he is afraid Nwoye will turn out to be like
“He wanted Nwoye to grow into tough young man capable of ruling his father’s household when he was dead and gone to join the ancestors” (52). Okonkwo continued to push his son towards being more masculine, but after the death of Ikemefuna, Nwoye strays as far as possible from what his father thinks to be the right path. Nwoye had become afraid of his father and it pushes him to join the missionaries after their family is exiled, perhaps the most feminine thing his father can imagine. The rift between them is so great that Nwoye tells Obierika, “He is not my father”
Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has a put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart” (Achebe, 1958, Chapter 20, pp.166).This quotation effectively illustrates how change in one’s attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs of Okonkwo and was disheartened to lose the Igbo traditions he values as his society slowly falls apart. He is opposed to change and he desperately tried to hold onto the traditional values and practices of his society. He does so in the midst of a European conquest which ultimately results in the breakdown of this traditional Igbo society. The religion of the community in Things Fall Apart is Igbo, however in this story, Christian missionaries come to try and convert the natives to Christianity.
Okonkwo’s fear is his ultimate flaw. His fear leads him not only to lose his life, but also to lose the respect he tries so hard to