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How Is Okonkwo Weak

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Every main character in any story always has their flaws and Okonkwo perfectly demonstrates that. The main character in the book Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, is a man named Okonkwo. The story tracks his and his family’s lives as they live prospering in their village. Although he was born into a poor family with an idle father, Okonkwo’s determination and hard work led him up the social ladder to be one of the most successful people in his village. His actions reveal him to be a very rough and often violent person. He is abusive to his family and known for his ill-timed outbursts. However, he is still respected as a warrior and as a successful farmer. Okonkwo shows sympathy, by the hard work he undertakes to take care of his family when…show more content…
He shows a clear love for his family by his struggle to take care of them. “And so at a very early age when he was striving desperately to build a barn through sharecropping, Okonkwo was also fending for his father’s house” (Achebe 22). This quote shows that Okonkwo cared enough for his family, that he worked hard as a youth to fend for them, even with his resentment towards his father. Achebe writes very clearly how angry it makes Okonkwo that he has to support his father’s idle lifestyle, and how he overcomes it with his sympathy for his mother and sisters. Okonkwo is also sympathetic by the way he treats Ikemefuna, a stranger to his village, who Okonkwo grows fond of secretly. “... like a son, carrying his stool and his goatskin bag (for Okonkwo). And indeed Ikemefuna called him father” (Achebe 28). Okonkwo’s sympathy is shown to Ikemefuna, by his fondness for him even though he was brought to Okonkwo’s village as recompense for the death of an Umuofia villager. He accepts him into his family and treats him as a son, entrusting him to his first and most important wife. Although very subtly and with humility, Okonkwo shows to be sympathetic to his family and works hard to care for…show more content…
He shows great love and sympathy for his family and cares for them when his father chose to be idle. He also shows his sympathy to his children, biological or not. His unsympathetic tendencies distance him from the reader, he is violent and threatening. In either circumstance, Okonkwo proves to be a memorable character in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, because of his striking characteristics that show him to neither be a hero nor a villain, but a loving an abusive father. Okonkwo may deter readers because of his violence, but subtly shows a deep, beneath-the-surface love for his family that resonates with the reader throughout the
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