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 a man of many different views than those of regular parents seen in the book “Things fall apart.” He seems like a harsh man yes, but he just wants what is best for his children. He rules with a very heavy hand as well in order to have his children grow to be even stronger then him and not show laziness. He wants his children to know hard work can only be done if you’re able to show you can handle any obstacle in your path. In all honesty, laziness should be of no virtue, if one does not wish to be nagged or punished.
Nwoye was my favorite character in this book because he expressed his feelings even when he was told by his father not to. This character made his own decisions and I can respect that, which is why I chose him for this essay.When Christian missionaries brought a new religion to the Ibo culture Nwoye changed his opinion about his cultures beliefs and religion. The book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a fiction work that represents the Ibo culture.
Okonkwo constantly struggled to create the same masculine character in Nwoye that he made for himself and constantly found a reflection of his effeminate father, Unoka, in Nwoye. Chapter two describes the relationship between Okonkwo and Nwoye in Nwoye’s youth. “Okonkwo’s first son, Nwoye, was then twelve years old but was already causing his father great anxiety for his incipient laziness... He sought to correct him by constant nagging and beating” (13-14). Okonkwo’s efforts to change Nwoye’s resemblance of Unoka were causing their relationship to be pushed apart because of Okonkwo’s violence and Nwoye’s resistance. Okonkwo’s aggressive ways caused Nwoye to rely on Ikemefuna, A boy given to Okonkwo by a neighboring village, as an older brother who teaches him a more gentle form of masculinity. The bond between Nwoye and Ikemefuna was stronger than the bond between Nwoye and Okonkwo ever was because of Okonkwo’s refusal to demonstrate affection towards his son as it could make him appear weak. However, because of the death of Ikemefuna, Nwoye fears having to return to the harsh values of his father. Okonkwo’s stubborn ideas of masculinity ruined his relationship with his son beyond repair. Okonkwo’s refusal to show emotion towards his family pushed them apart which shows that Okonkwo is not willing to give up his stern values and reputation to be emotionally committed to his family. Once again, Nwoye found peace away from his father when the Christian missionaries came to Mbanta, the motherland where Okonkwo and his family were exiled to. Nwoye converted to Christianity and escaped the force of his father in their household. Okonkwo, of course, didn’t support his son’s decision and was completely against Nwoye leaving behind the tradition the Okonkwo followed so deeply. A paragraph in chapter seventeen reflects on Okonkwo’s thoughts. “To abandon the gods of one’s father and go about
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.
Everyone has its own unique perspective on certain things. In doing so, one must interact or collide with another throughout life. In Things Fall Apart, the author, Chinua Achebe, attempts to communicate the concept of cultural collision while depicting the life of the Igbo tribe. He creates two main characters with contradicting characteristics and responses to a cultural collision in order to strengthen the theme: Among those of the same culture, individuals who are adaptive and open-minded can be successful when there is cultural collision.
China Achebe demonstrates the disrespect the Ibo men had for woman in Things Fall Apart by depicting verbal and physical abuse within the community. The men have control over a woman through power of authority. This physical and verbal abuse lets the men of the society feel empowerment over the woman. “ Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper” Achebe 12. Okonkwo was a big supporter of physical and verbal abuse in his home, especially towards his wives and Nwoye. To Okonkwo, physical abuse was another language. This is how he spoke, and punished, on the occasion of the abuse, and how he had handled the situation. Women was treated poorly in Umuofia because men believe that they were weak and in inadequate.
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.
“If you don't like someone's story, write your own.” says award winning author Chinua Achebe. In Nwoye's igbo culture his father was determined for him to become like him, a leader to the igbo society, but Nwoye had other plans for the bettering of himself by following western ways. All around change is what you make of it. In the novel, Things Fall Apart, author Chinua Achebe demonstrates how when faced with a cultural collision one may choose to be open-minded and seek new opportunities through a character’s shift in identity.
Everyone as a human being has experienced some form of change in our life, big or small, and it has a lasting effect on who they are and how they act. In Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’, change is a forward facing theme of the whole story, we see change in all forms occur throughout the book; the arrival of the white men and their changing of the igbo culture, the tearing apart of Okonkwo’s family by religion and traditions, and the change that occurs within Okonkwo himself when he realizes he cannot prevent change from happening in the community and culture he loved. Change is destructive in ‘Things Fall Apart’, especially to such a magnitude as we see in the story, it is destructive to communities, to families, and especially to individuals.
The novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, defines an important literary example of the historical conflict of European colonialism in Nigeria during the
Religion is the belief in a greater power, which shapes the way someone lives their life. Religion can bring people together, or it can pull them apart. The novel Things Fall Apart, a work by Chinua Achebe, is about a man named Okonkwo and how he and his village deal with the colonization of Christianity. In the end, it pulled Okonkwo away from his people, leading him to his death. Not only did Okonkwo face the new idea of Christianity, but so did Chinua Achebe. During Achebe’s interview with The Paris Review, Achebe says “My parents were early converts to Christianity in my part of Nigeria” (Brooks). He saw the effects of the Christian religion moving through his village, something that Okonkwo couldn’t bear to live through. Religion is a major topic in the novel. Chinua Achebe uses religion to show the reader the God in the Igbo culture, their belief in reincarnation, and the colonization of Christianity.
In the Ibo hierarchal society, women are the subject of unequal treatment and patronization. They are considered weak and are not given any power. As the novel, Things Fall Apart unravels, the author, Chinua Achebe reveals the distinct attributes of femininity. Feminine traits are also viewed with disdain in Umuofian society, especially by the protagonist of the novel, Okonkwo. His past experiences shape his disposition and give rise to his stereotypical mentality; however, several events contradict the prevalent perspective of women, leading to Okonkwo facing conflicts within himself.
Today, Christianity is one of the largest religions in Africa. In the past few decades, there has been a large growth of Christians in Africa - this is coupled with a steady decline in the more traditional African religions. The book, Things Fall Apart shows that a character that has a tragic flaw is one that constantly makes error in there actions that eventually cates us to them and leads them to there doom. Okonkwo, a perfect tragic character, is driven by his fear of being unmanly, this causes him to act very harsh toward his fellow tribesmen, his family and himself; he will judge all the people in the village. In the eyes of Okonkwo, a true man is wealthy, hard-working, and violent. He thinks that anyone who is not like that is weak
Fathers like all compulsory aspects in life have an influence, Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart demonstrates the importance of a father and his role through leading characters. The leading character Okonkwo was affected by his father's non fulfilment in his tribe Umuofia, the absences and failure of his father Unoka caused a great hollowness in his life. Okonkwo and Unoka are portrayed as having an evidently strained relationship, one in fact that lead Okonkwo to consciously adopt opposite ideals from his father. The psychology behind this strained father son relationship fully answers the questions and unfolds the truth of Okonkwo's