Double Identity In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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People who have double identities have different reason for having one as shown through Chinua Achebe’s book Things Fall Apart where there are characters with multiple identities. These identities are where part of the characters and depending on their circumstances they were shown in different ways; hidden away or wide known to others. Through the novel characters hide and show their identities depending on how they view their other identity. Characters like Okonkwo who sees their other identity as a weakness builds their ideal identity off of the other identity. People like Chielo who are open about their second identity, are able to keep them separated because they don’t see the two aspects as conflicting. Characters who see their other…show more content…
While Unoka was seen by everyone as low because not only did he not have any titles he couldn’t properly take care of his family. This image of Unoka that Okonkwo had all his life lead him to try to build his life to not be like Unoka. “His whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and weakness” for “[resembling] his father” (13). Okonkwo’s identity for himself was that he was to be everything his father wasn’t where on the inside he was vulnerable and controlled by the fear of being Unoka and inversely being himself. The new identity that he built was shown to the village as a rich powerful warrior with many titles. Although he maintained and built up this new identity the person that he was remained inside of him by controlling who the new identity. The new identity was purely driven by the opposite of the original one, and in order to maintain that identity Okonkwo kept on noticing the Unoka’s characteristics. Once Okonkwo was banished to Mbanta he lost everything that he had worked hard to earn all his titles and his land. “His life had been ruled by a great passion”, the drive from being unlike Unoka set Okonkwo’s goal “to become one of the lords of the clan” but because of him being expelled he couldn’t “[achieve] it” (131). Okonkwo’s fear of being like his father came crashing down as he left Umuofia and lost all the titles he had worked for. He was forcefully reverted to his original identity, having nothing. This experience showed Okonkwo that no matter how hard he worked he could always end back in the position that Unoka was in because that is where everyone
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