The novel “things fall apart” is about the fatal demise of Okonkwo and the igbo culture of Umuofia. Okonkwo is well known and respected leader in his community, who is successful in everything he does, such as wrestling and farming. He is quick with his hands and takes pride in his accomplishments. Okonkwo’s family relationship makes him a sympathetic character because of his support and an unsympathetic character because of his cruelty.
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. Next, Okonkwo is warned that he will be told to kill Ikemefuna, a boy who has become like a son to him. When the time comes, Okonkwo, Ikemefuna, and a few other men set out on their journey. When the men move to kill Ikemefuna, Okonkwo trails behind them so he will not have to be a part of
Whether okonkwo is threatening his son to work or feeling ashamed of his father, the man is portrayed being an unsympathetic character to the eye from his beatings and cockiness, but people hardly look past that to view it from another perspective. Okonkwo is actually a sympathetic character if people would consider how he treats his son do to the fear his father put into him. His past transformed him to be hard working and teach his own children the value of setting their own title even though it is not in put perfectly on the table.
In Umuofia, Okonkwo has a high title, earned by demonstrating his achievement in his city. He is recognized everywhere for being a great wrestler who beat Amalinze the Cat. In chapter one, it says that “He brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat” (Achebe 3). Okonkwo made it his goal to demonstrate himself powerfully to the community because his father, Unoka, was the opposite. The emotional, lazy, gentile, and unsuccessful Unoka was interested in music and drinking, and he didn 't try hard to make a name for himself. However, Okonkwo made a name for himself because his was to not follow in his father’s footsteps. In a paragraph describing Okonkwo’s character it says, “He had no patience with unsuccessful men. He had no patience
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. You may think a person is okay but in reality is all different. Okonkwo was looked at as the person of the village and when the missionaries came everyone was surprised because they were staying in their villages. Okonkwo was depressed and he ended up hanging himself. I feel like if they would have handled the situation differently things would have been better but in the time these things occurred a lot of stuff was not the same.
When Okonkwo's family is faced with a struggle, Okonkwo lets fear rule over his actions of his family’s protection. Okonkwo’s inner thoughts are revealed; “He tried not to think about Ikemefuna, but the more he tried, the more he thought about him” (Achebe 54). Okonkwo, although he seldom openly shows it, cares about his family. After Ikemefuna’s murder, Okonkwo’s true feelings are brought forth by the weak afterthoughts of the son he had grown to care for. Okonkwo’s fear of weakness is an internal conflict that affects Okonkwo through the book. 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
Albert Camus once said , “The byronic hero, incapable of love, or capable only of an impossible love, suffers endlessly. He is solitary, languid, and his conditions exhaust him. If he wants to feel alive, it must be in the terrible exaltation of a brief and destructive action.” In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s arrogance and pride show him as a complex character. His anger and strong beliefs show him as a representative towards his society; However, change is unpredictable and unavoidable. Okonkwo’s motivations, character development, and interactions suggest that he is a byronic hero.
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. Okonkwo’s values are restricted to physical strength, power, and prosperity, and when the Europeans suddenly arrive, the cultural convergence prompts Okonkwo to respond with even more violence. While the majority of his tribe, including his son Nwoye, is open to considering
Things Fall Apart is a novel written by Chinua Achebe. In the novel there is a main character called Okonkwo. He lived in Umuofia where he was also known throughout many of the nine villages around Umuofia. In the beginning of the story we see his overwhelming hatred towards his father Unoka. His father died about ten years ago and had not taken any title and was very much in debt. Unoka was described as lazy, improvident and not capable of thinking about tomorrow. From this Okonkwo was ashamed of his father and strives to be nothing like him. Okonkwo’s hatred towards his father has hardened his heart and has made him incapable of being a person of compassion and understanding throughout the novel. His hatred for his father has made him fear failure and weakness throughout the story. His fear of failure has brought him to his downfall.
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 uses these traits to differentiate from Unoka and he even feels most like himself when he exhibits violent behavior in order to assert his power and authority over others. Literary critic Christopher Ouma affirmed Okonkwo’s genuine intention to change how he is regarded in society.
This man is a menace to his own family he is cruel and unfair to his son and daughters and actions like this make me want to believe that this man is a unsympathetic character in this story.Okonkwo went as far as to try and shoot one of his wives in the back, and he beats her for leaving his daughter with his other wife. Okonkwo believes that if you make the tiniest mistake that you should be beaten. As far as with his son the one he calls lazy and incompetent he would starve him for 3 weeks straight.For example “Okonkwo stood over him while he swallowed his yams trembling a few moments he went behind the hut and began to vomit painfully”.
Cultural collisions is when two things crash into each other, when two of totally different situations turns into a conflict. In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe it is a model of tragedies that can be compared to several things. Okonkwo is the perfect example for a tragic hero. Okonkwo sense of identity was challenged for many reasons. Okonkwo response to the collision of culture is by ignoring it like it just doesn’t exist around him. He disagree with the west ideas and believe that the Ibo people should come together. His identity is challenged by the cultural collision because before the western people came he was in charge of everything, he was well respected and feared by most might as well say all. Now that the western people is in
Okonkwo’s nobility and prosperity is revealed through his success and leadership within the clan. Aristotle stated in “On Tragedy” that “He must be one who is highly renowned and prosperous.”.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
Things fall apart, it’s in the name. Everything falls apart. And it is because of the arrogance of Okonkwo. He is a very interesting character because not only did he know he was being cruel to everyone around him but that he still decided to do it. We can see this with his “son” ikemefuna on page 28, it says, “ Even Okonkwo himself became very fond of the boy -- inwardly of course. Okonkwo never showed any emotion openly, unless it be the emotion of anger. To show affection was a sign of weakness, the only thing worth demonstrating was strength. He therefore treated Ikemefuna as he treated everybody else--with a heavy hand. But there was no doubt he liked the boy. Sometimes when he went to big village meetings or communal ancestral feasts he allowed Ikemefuna to accompany him, like a son, carrying his stool and his goatskin bag. And, indeed, Ikemefuna called him father.” (Achebe 28). He loved him but still showed him his heavy hand because he didn 't want to come off as weak. Because of his arrogance he had become cruel to the boy he loved and in the end killed him out of misery. If we look at this scene we can see that he 's having an inward battle with himself, being strong was his main priority over anything else, even his own family. Even if he cared for them, he was conceited and cared about the opinions of others and what 'd they think of him. This ultimately led to his downfall when a cultural collision was evident and he couldn 't face it. His
Many people around the world believe that marriages are made in heaven. This is true from certain extent, because two soul mates meet only with the permission of god. On the other hand in William Shakespeare’s “King Lear”, Goneril portraits a different type of marriage in his play and changes meaning of the word “marriage”. In “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo who is living in all male dominant society have different effect on his married life. In both stories pursuer is presented with thoughts and customs of two distinct societies British and Ibo tribe, and their individual pride affects their convictions and relationships, which later results in their defeat.