The Igbo In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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The tale of the Igbo in Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, is a progressive story of change in a culture. Okonkwo, a well respected warrior and leader in the tribe of Umuofia stands center stage as readers follow his life as a man in a disintegrating culture. With the arrival of missionaries, banishments, and an abundance of yams, Okonkwo’s story helps paint a picture of British imperialism in Africa during the 19th century. As the progression of the story picks up steam, Okonkwo’s fear, defiance, and traditionalism are the driving forces, they control his life, his family, and leave an imprint upon his village and the British. Right off the bat in Things Fall Apart, we are introduced to Okonkwo and his fears, especially his fear of weakness. This fear of weakness…show more content…
As Okonkwo’s life is further explained, Okonkwo becomes a stoic man, shoving aside the challenges life throws at him with more force than often needed. In an argument with Obierika, Obierika protests the actions of Okonkwo and the ruination of the forests by men commanded by the elders and oracle, Okonkwo refuses to budge, protesting “ the law of the land must be obeyed” (Achebe 69). While this conversation might seem trivial, Okonkwo’s defiance is incredibly glaring in this situation, his refusal to bow to Obierika’s ideas makes it clear that Okonkwo only truly listens to and accepts his own words. When Okonkwo is banished from his village, he runs with his family to his motherland, where he immediately builds himself “an obi and three huts for his wives” (Achebe 130). While Okonkwo was weighed down by his sorrow and despair, he refused to be destroyed by it, instead taking fate by the collar and sending it packing. Contributing to the masterpiece that is Okonkwo’s life, his defiant nature makes Okonkwo an intense, enjoyable character who leaves a mark on his family and those around
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