“Life can only be understood backwards; it must be lived forwards “ -Soren Kierkegaard In the novel Things Fall Apart,by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo is driven by his past.Specifically his relationship with his father, Unoka who was a failure in village standards; he was poor, owed a lot of debt, and was too lazy to do anything about it. Okonkwo saw this as weakness and swore that he would live his life as a stark contrast from his father. Okonkwo’s motivations, interactions, and development of his character and his society suggest that he is a Byronic hero. Okonkwo’s accumulation of wives, yams, and children show his social dominance. In the article titled (“Byronic Hero”) the writer lists the traits of a Byronic hero,one including “Social dominance”. …show more content…
In the article titled “Byronic hero” the author States one of the traits of a Byronic hero “ an Exile an outcast or an outlaw”.Achebe explains, “ the only course open to Okonkwo was to flee from the clan”(110). This quotation from chapter thirteen demonstrates that Okonkwo, when he killed another clan member was exiled because of it. He would lose everything except the things he would bring with him. The trait is supported by the crime against the Earth goddess that Okonkwo committed which is very contrasted from society. In conclusion Okonkwo committing this crime wish throws him into exile shows that he was outcasted by
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Okonkwo thought if he worked hard his chi would reward him. When Okonkwo accidentally killed a clan mate, he was exiled from his tribe for seven years. Okonkwo started having self-doubt, thinking his chi was not meant for great things. When his seven years of exile was over, Okonkwo went back home to find that his tribe had been overrun by white men who brought with them a new culture and a new religion. He is furious that his tribe would allow people to continually insult their ancestors and gods.
Prompt 2 Okonkwo is driven by his hatred of his father and the fear he will become like him. Okonkwo saw his father, Unoka, as a coward and is ashamed to be his son. Everything that Okonkwo does is meant to set him apart from the legacy of his father. First, this is evident in his beating of his wives and even his aggression with his children. He is trying to show his strength and ensure he is not portrayed to be like his father: powerless and incapable.
In the text, “ The only course open to Okonkwo was the flee from the clan. It was a crime against the earth goddess to kill a clansman, and a man who committed it must flee from the land. The crime was two kinds, male or female, Okonkwo had committed a female. He could return to the clan after seven years” (Achebe 124). If Okonkwo was not there , the young boy would still be alive and Okonkwo would still be in Umuofia , his fatherland and had all of his items.
His actions and thoughts reveal that his fear of being seen as weak and inadequate, and of losing his status and prestige in the community, motivates him to be a strong leader. While some may argue that Okonkwo's actions are motivated by malice, it is important to note that his violence is not a desire to harm or hurt others, but rather to protect himself from his
This idea that he feels that he has become a woman for feeling emotions and not covering them up with strength but also the stubbornness he has adopted throughout the years. With Okonkwo being in exile for a significant amount of time he has grown to become weak not physically but mentally as the book moved forward he could be related to a flame burning out and turning into a pile of ashes (Achebe 153). How it shows he is burning out and this gift of strength he had is now dying out due to him being sent to exile, also having no titles to his name. He had nothing to live for nor feel confident in, especially with part of his family now
Okonkwo’s fear ends up dominating his actions, putting his family in danger. He fears being perceived as weak by the elders of the tribe, whom he greatly respects and admires, resulting in him partaking in the murder of Ikemefuna. Although Ikemefuna had begun to show Okonkwo’s valued traits of strength and independence, Okonkwo's fear overtakes him, and he kills the boy whom he had accepted as part of his family. Ikemefuna causes internal conflict to be kindled within Okonkwo which causes him to question the true value of family
Eventually, after numerous hardships, Okonkwo earns his success and obtains several barns and wives. This symbolizes wealth and power which were what Okonkwo had been working for all his life. Moreover, Achebe portrays Okonkwo as a fierce warrior and is also represents him as a model clansman in the society:
In “Things Fall Apart” Achebe gives background information on Okonkwo saying “He was a wealthy farmer and had two barns full of yams, and had just married his third wife.” (5). This quotation from chapter one demonstrates that Okonkwo’s nobility of prosperity is revealed by his success’ from his early years and forward. The villagers within Okonkwo’s clan love and honor him for his personal achievements, and he
In the book “Things Fall Apart“ Okonkwo is a very strong man and from time to time he starts showing his true self. He has a lot of responsibilities and other things he has to do around the living environment and interact with lots of people. Okonkwo changes from being that strong man, to a man who feels like his tribe is not with him when he wants to go to war with the missionaries. For someone like Okonkwo a lot of people looks up to him and while in the tribe Okonkwo beats his wives and children. Not good behavior for someone who is supposedly looked at as strong.
Okonkwo devotes his life to becoming the opposite of his unsuccessful father. This need to become masculine introduces his fear: “But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of
Among those of the same culture, individuals who are adaptive and open-minded can be successful when there is cultural collision. When the Igbo and European cultures collide, Okonkwo gradually spirals out of control, losing everything he values and his own sense of self. From the beginning of the novel, Achebe depicts Okonkwo as a virile warrior and a successful farmer within the Igbo tribe. Reacting with violence to anything he considers “womanly” or “weak”, “He was a man of action and man of war” (10). Because of his reputation as a warrior he is highly respected by his community.
Fear is the core cause of the dramatic shift of lifestyle for both Okonkwo and Nwoye. Through the management of reputation and the avoidance of their father’s likeness, Okonkwo and Nwoye built new lives for themselves. Okonkwo sought power and authority to prove his masculinity and make up for Unoka’s reputation as a weak man. He did this to the point where manliness became his character. Fearlessness and violence were masculine qualities that in Igbo culture signifies strength and influence.
Okonkwo has traits that present him as both a strong character and a weak one, and they all play a part in defining who Okonkwo really is. The first example of Okonkwo’s character traits is one of his strengths. Okonkwo is a man who is looked up to by a large amount of other warriors. Although he
He thinks that anyone who is not like that is weak The main reason why Okonkwo is a tragic hero is that of how weak his chi is. The chi takes a big important role in the novel because according to the Igbo people, anything something goes wrong with a person it is because of there bad chi.in the beginning of the book, Okonkwo seems to be the one that has the best chi and has everything going for him at the time. In the beginning of the book the reader is meant though think that Okonkwo will overcome anything that is thrown at him because of his chi. This is shown in the novel when
It [was] an offense against the Earth, and a man who commits it [cannot] not be buried by his clansmen” (Achebe 207). At the end of his life, Okonkwo committed an offense against the Earth and his village. Although he had achieved material success with his farm and cultural success with his titles, he did not truly achieve his own definition of success, which was becoming a