Okonkwo Dialectical Journal

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Prompt 2 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…show more content…
Achebe writes, “ Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (Achebe 63). Many other members of the tribe would have let their son be killed because of the unwavering faith many have in their religion and the decisions of the elders. However, not many would do it themselves. This scene truly showcases Okonkwo’s fears. Also, later on, a meeting is called with people from all of the nine villages in attendance. Okonkwo and his friend, Obierika, are looking for Egonwanne, a man Okonkwo believes will cause trouble and suggest against going to war. When asked how he knows that this man will be a problem, Okonkwo replies, “Because I know he is a coward” (Achebe 202). Because of who his father was, Okonkwo does not like anyone who is a coward. Therefore, he unjustly does not like this man. The author, Chinua Achebe, used Okonkwo as an example of the father/son conflict and how the conflict affects a man’s life. Just because one does not always act like the typical strong, almost emotionless man, that does not mean one is coward. Okonkwo’s thought process leads to his demise because he cannot bear to see the strong willed tribe and culture he has known his whole life fail him: just
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