Would people kill if it is to protect what is dear to people? Many people have lost things dear to them. For some people, it might have been a family. For other people, it might have been an item or an identity. Some individuals have lost these things due to colonization. Colonization has an impact on an individual’s life and can either be positive or negative. In Things Fall Apart, Achebe uses Okonkwo, a tragic hero, to show loss of power and respect due to colonization and to exemplify change can be hard for people. Okonkwo’s identity is dependent on the Igbo Culture. At the beginning of the book, Okonkwo is seen as very strong. Also, Okonkwo only shows the emotion anger because he thinks that is the only emotion that men should show and every other emotion is feminine according to his standards. Okonkwo becomes like this because of his father. His father was lazy and dies a dishonorable death and leaves nothing for his family. Okonkwo fears becoming like his father, an agbala. The effect of this is beneficial for Okonkwo. The way he turns out makes him a great man and because of this, he obtains the third highest title in his tribe. He got power through his ideals. He also obtains fame through the Igbo culture. In the Igbo tribe there are wrestling games and because of that “Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond.” (Achebe 1). This is the Okonkwo before the white men come. Okonkwo’s identity is someone who is powerful but now he has no
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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.
In Umuofia, Okonkwo has a high title, earned by demonstrating his achievement in his city. He is recognized everywhere for being a great wrestler who beat Amalinze the Cat. In chapter one, it says that “He brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat” (Achebe 3). Okonkwo made it his goal to demonstrate himself powerfully to the community because his father, Unoka, was the opposite. The emotional, lazy, gentile, and unsuccessful Unoka was interested in music and drinking, and he didn 't try hard to make a name for himself.
Eventually, after numerous hardships, Okonkwo earns his success and obtains several barns and wives. This symbolizes wealth and power which were what Okonkwo had been working for all his life. Moreover, Achebe portrays Okonkwo as a fierce warrior and is also represents him as a model clansman in the society:
In “Things Fall Apart” Achebe gives background information on Okonkwo saying “He was a wealthy farmer and had two barns full of yams, and had just married his third wife.” (5). This quotation from chapter one demonstrates that Okonkwo’s nobility of prosperity is revealed by his success’ from his early years and forward. The villagers within Okonkwo’s clan love and honor him for his personal achievements, and he
In the book “Things Fall Apart“ Okonkwo is a very strong man and from time to time he starts showing his true self. He has a lot of responsibilities and other things he has to do around the living environment and interact with lots of people. Okonkwo changes from being that strong man, to a man who feels like his tribe is not with him when he wants to go to war with the missionaries. For someone like Okonkwo a lot of people looks up to him and while in the tribe Okonkwo beats his wives and children. Not good behavior for someone who is supposedly looked at as strong.
Q1: Explain how Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, influenced his life. A1: Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, influenced Okonkwo’s life because he had been a failure in life. Unoka was a lazy and improvident debtor. In his youth he lived a carefree life and would visit different villages and market to play on his flute and feast.
The hatred that he had for his father he carried with him throughout his whole life. That hatred turned into him killing Ikemefuna and the messenger. Ikemefuna was thought of as a son and he killed him in fear of being considered weak in front of his clan members. That weakness was thought of his weakness which was considered a failure. At the end of the story Okonkwo ends up being just like his father which is ironic because he strived to be nothing like him.
Okonkwo devotes his life to becoming the opposite of his unsuccessful father. This need to become masculine introduces his fear: “But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of
The novel "Thing's fall apart" by Chinua Achebe is a complex work that masterfully establishes and develops characters through their experience with cultural collision. The way that Achebe accomplishes carefully weaving his implicit claim throughout the work is such a beautiful subtlety that it deserves to be analyzed. The Igbo's pride is constantly challenged by the colonizers as they gain increasingly more power in Africa. The idea of pride is constantly developed throughout the thoughts and actions of the novels protagonist Okonkwo. His response to the colonizers is influenced by his own views on pride and is used by Achebe to illustrate his own opinion on pride.
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.
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.
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.
His father was the exact opposite of what the Igbo people stand for. Unoka, Okonkwo’s father, is a “coward [who] could not bear the sight of blood” (Achebe 6). In turn, Okonkwo became a ruthless warrior who was known across the different tribes. The worst aspect of Unoka is that he was considered to be a failure. This caused Okonkwo “even as a little boy [to resent] his father’s failure” (13).
He was a caring man down in his heart but “his whole life was dominated by the fear, the fear of failure and of weakness” (Achebe 13), and his mission to become one of the greatest men of his clan. Okonkwo was devoted to masculinity, he put it above anything else preventing anyone from questioning his masculinity. When he felt a slight sign of weakness it reminded him of his fathers failure to being a true man not providing for his family or ruling women and his children, therefore “he was not really a man” (Achebe 53).There were many traits to being a masculine man but to Okonkwo the main one was ruling his wife and children, if any of them had disobeyed him he would beat them without hesitation or regret. Although Okonkwo is influenced by masculinity it is because the Ibo culture believes in men dominating women which leads their society to fall
Okonkwo Falls Apart Chinua Achebe offers a rare look at the natives perspective during colonialism in his work Things Fall Apart. The central struggle in the main character Okonkwo is that he is beginning to lose his way of life, and he is not able to do anything about it. Conflicts in religious beliefs with the arrival of the missionaries heightens Okonkwo 's internal aggression, and his inability to adapt leads to his downfall.