Okonkwo's Conflict In Things Fall Apart

Better Essays
Towards the end of Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo decided to take his own life due to the changes in his tribe caused by the white missionaries. This makes it harder to distinguish if the colonists were responsible for Okonkwo’s death and the diminishing of the Ibo Tribe. However, these colonists are gradually pushing an agenda to the Igbo people where Okonkwo is critical against. The collision between two separate beliefs causes various conflicts occurring in Things Fall Apart that eventually causes Umuofia to fall apart. This undermines Okonkwo’s drive to succeed in traditional terms and his desire to be a leader in his tribe. The diminishing of the Igbo tribe by the white colonists terminates that goal for Okonkwo to succeed which leads…show more content…
When Okonkwo was “angry and could not get his words quickly out enough, he would use his fists” (Achebe 2). Okonkwo’s violent personality traits cause him to make very irrational decisions that would later have future consequences. Despite that, his less than perfect tendencies did help him to achieve many goals throughout his life. However, the instances where they worked against him outweigh all other factors. Okonkwo is seen as a very painfully structured man and when something doesn't go according to his structure, it causes him to make irrational decisions. As seen in Okonkwo’s participation in Ikemefuna’s death, we see a demonstration of his rash thinking. Okonkwo’s irrational decision - making, as well as his fear of being perceived as weak like his father drove him to kill Ikemefuna. If Ikemefuna has not been killed, then this would have prevented Nwoye from converting to Christianity. As seen “after the missionaries finished singing, Nwoye pondered about what he just heard, the hymn about brothers who sat in darkness and fear seemed to answer a vague and persistent question that haunted his young soul the question of Ikemefuna who died” (Achebe 128). Okonkwo’s participation in Ikemefuna’s murder ultimately pushed Nwoye to Christianity and this caused Okonkwo to lose respect in himself for not raising a better son.…show more content…
Okonkwo wanted his tribe to fight back the missionaries in order to protect their Igbo culture but his persistence only led to his downfall. This can be seen when Okonkwo makes a rash decision to kill a messenger thinking Umuofia would fight back but ended up not fighting, “The white man whose power you know too well has ordered this meeting to stop.” In a flash, Okonkwo drew his machete. The messenger crouched to avoid the blow. It was useless. Okonkwo’s machete descended twice and the man’s head lay beside his uniformed body. The waiting backcloth jumped into tumultuous life and the meeting was stopped. Okonkwo stood looking at the dead man. He knew that Umuofia would not go to war. He knew because they had let the other messengers escape. They had broken into tumult instead of action. He discerned fright in that tumult. He heard voices asking: “Why did he do it?” (Achebe 143). When Okonkwo was faced with his enemies, he makes a rash decision and kills the messenger. This was a fateful act because it could urge Umuofia to attack the missionaries, but Umuofia decided to not go to war. Okonkwo explains how the white missionaries have come in and converted all the Igbo people into their religion until their own tribes become too weak to fight back against them. The white missionaries described by Okonkwo, “brought a lunatic religion, but he had also built a trading store
Get Access