As Obierika explains, “The white man is very clever... he has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart” (176). Achebe’s in-depth story exhibits all aspects of Igbo culture and examines the way a culture can transform as the world progresses around it. Throughout the novel, readers sense the shift in the characters’ attitudes and beliefs towards once-vital traditions. The bold protagonist, Okonkwo, represents the culture, and as pressures to change appear from the outside world, he comes apart at the seams.
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.
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.
The views of success in Okonkwo’s culture made him dislike his father because in the eyes of Okonkwo’s culture to be successful you had to have a title, strength, money, property, extra food, and lots of wives. Okonkwo disliked his father because he was a lazy, weak, unsuccessful coward who owed everybody money. This ultimately made Okonkwo ashamed of his father and made him state that “fortunately, among these people a man is judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father” (Achebe 6). This was important because it proves how much
This essay has discussed how within the novel Things Fall Part, Chinua Achebe attempts to restore the sense of dignity and self-respect of African people by creating a work of fiction that highlights the positive aspects of the Igbo culture within Umuofia, and the negative aspects of colonisation that destroyed the already existing culture. By analysing and referring to three episodes that occurred in the novel, this essay has demonstrated that Achebe’s endeavours to uplift the reputation of the African people pre and post-colonisation were
Many events play into a story creating the importance of a tragic hero and their demise. In Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo 's noble status, warped ideals of masculinity, and the unfortunate turn of events in his
Ikemefuna, Okonkwo’s stepson, is chosen by the Oracle who orders Okonkwo and a few other men to “‘...take him outside Umuofia as the custom and kill him there’” (Achebe 57). Ending lives, especially those not at fault, is inhumane to most because of how morality is emphasized in many other societies, and looked down on in the eyes of outsiders of that society. While Achebe wanted to correct negative stereotypes of Africans, he also has the goal of presenting “the true colors of Africa” in a particular scene, especially their beliefs in the community. Moreover, the author exemplified another uncivilized act performed in the village of Umuofia, which was a merciless death of a young woman.
The reason being is because Achebe is trying to divert from a Westernized perspective and instead go for an Africanized perspective to show more authenticity and reality. Also, by doing this, Achebe shows his opposition on the way the West views Africans, in particular in the novel “Things Fall Apart” where European colonialist used derogatory terms to describe the Igbo and glorify their actions of conquest and conversion of
This affects and can also be seen as a reflection of Okonkwo’s other relationships between male characters, namely Unoka, Nwoye, and Ikemefuna. This essay will discuss how Achebe portrays masculinity in Things Fall Apart (Achebe, 1958), how the hyper-masculinized character, Okonkwo, receives and interacts with certain characters. I will also discuss how Okonkwo’s ridged patriarchal ideals of virility are counterintuitive with his actions and intentions of ensuring a masculine household. Okonkwo is a titled and successful warrior in his village, Umuofia. A great amount of respect is received by Okonkwo because his youth did not promise such a prosperous life, he had to work hard for his wealth and success.
Achebe has written the novel in the hope of providing the reader a deeper understanding of Igbo customs and removing the stereotyped view of African tribes shaped by Europeans. Even though Igbo cultures and traditions are civilized, Westerners in the novel view the Igbo as savages who are violent and kill people for no particular reasons. However, practically, when there is a conflict between Mbaino and Umuofia in Chapter 2, the villagers in the novel “would not go to war against it without first trying a peaceful settlement. (Achebe, 12)” This clearly suggests that the Igbo do negotiate first when there is a conflict between two groups and start a war only if the former does not work.
The Peaks and Valleys of Handling Power A man who strives for power won’t stop until he earns it. This statement fits Okonkwo, the protagonist of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe without any question. In this novel, the author outlines the struggles in the daily lives of the members in an African tribe. Among the clan, there is one character, Okonkwo, who stands out for his desire to become one of the most important men in Umuofia.
He became a strong independent man. His true personality showed through. In some people’s cases, things fall apart, but in others, like Nwoye, he found his true purpose in life. At twelve years old, Nwoye was causing his father Okonkwo, “great anxiety for his incipient laziness” (10).
Achebe’s goals for Things Fall Apart is to counter the single story and portray a more cultured and complex of Africa opposing westerners ideals with the inclusion of Igbo folktales, Igbo proverbs, and 3rd person narration. Igbo folktales are an important piece of what makes Igbo culture complex, and unique. One Igbo folktale from Chapter 11 tells the story of a greedy tortoise who wants to join some birds in the sky for a feast. He tricks them and tells them his name is “All of you” then the birds say the meal is for all of you the tortoise takes all the food. The bird then punishes him by taking his feathers to fly away, the tortoise tells the birds to deliver a message to his wife.
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
S. Naipaul and J. M. Coetzee these Post-colonial writers have all dealt with Africa in their own individual and unique ways. Achebe does not treat the African culture and ways of life as something hybrid, complex, dependant for its significance on the Western style of perceiving things or neither has he shown Africa to be existing only in relation to its difference from or consonance with the Western form of religion, culture, identity, and discourse. The major theme of the novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ centers around the destruction of Africa’s intricate, almost incomprehensible but unique way of life and culture in the wake of British colonization and forced or maneuvered conversion to Christianity. The administrative as well as religious changes that the British tries to impose upon the native Africans has the disastrous effects of uprooting the indigenous people from their original root and tradition and can be seen as some instruments of subjugation, subordination and subservience which starts with creating distrust, doubts and insecurity in the minds of people for their Igbo tradition, and its cultural and religious practices and ends with making them internalize the Christian way of life and British administrative apparatuses. Another theme that is explored in this novel is the inherent fault of the central character Okonkwo, who is ambitious, industrious, honest, masculine but is rash, and unthinking and his sense of self and identity is wholly dependent on the approval of others in his community and he thinks of anything that intrudes into it as a threat and he tries hard to be a man though in a flawed manner.