Okonkwo’s greatest fear was to be perceived weak like his father, and he revolved his entire life around separating him from his father 's attitude and legacy. The quote “... In his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and weakness.” (5) summarizes Okonkwo’s motivation in his life. This quote supports the theme because Okonkwo’s fear of weakness lead to his irrational actions such as killing Ikemefuna, which turned some of the Ibo clan against him, including his own son.
Okonkwo has been traumatized by mediocrity in his early life because of his father. Because of this fact, he has always resented his father, Unoka. Unoka was always known as a lazy coward who was always poor and Okonkwo learned to hate these characteristics. Okonkwo grew as a great honorable warrior, earned a great reputation and had several wives. Ekwefi was Okonkwo’s second wife and mother of his favorite child, Ezinma.
Okonkwo is known throughout all nine villages for his self-wealth, strength but most of all his anger and temper. He is irrational and does not think logically, but thinks through his fists. He is incapable of showing remorse or emotion, and due to this lack of emotion, when someone starts to agitate him he immediately fights. Whether it be domestic violence towards his wife and children or picking fights with neighbors challenging him. Okonkwo’s family relationships make him a sympathetic character because he provides for his family which is what his father could not do and an unsympathetic character because of the constant domestic violence when something is not done to his expectations.
This shows that he has no sympathy for people who are considered less of him. No matter the circumstances he does not want to deal with them. ¨His wives especially the youngest lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did his children¨(Achebe Pg. #10). When Okonkwo got angry he would use his fists.
“A tragic hero is a person of noble birth with heroic or potentially heroic qualities. This person is fated by the Gods or by some supernatural force to doom and destruction or at least to great suffering.” Okonkwo in the book, “Things Fall Apart” is the character we follow though the whole story. His biggest fear is being looked upon like his father, who was a failure in everyone 's eyes and lived a life of hardship. Okonkwo is a tragic hero because he is important in Igbo society and ultimately led to his own downfall due to his fear of being weak. Iguedo, the home village of Okonkwo, was once a proud land.
His suicide is an act of defiance in asserting the traditional ways of his tribe but also an act of sadness because those ways are no more. In the end, he is neither a good or evil character, but a man who possess both good and evil traits due to the change occurring around him. The story of the tortoise mentioned that as All of you fell “He fell and fell and fell until he began to fear he would never stop falling” (99). This is significant in noting that the good within Okonkwo felt as if his wrong doing would continue to make him fall. His act of suicide can be interpreted as him putting an end to the evil within
It is well-established that throughout the book, Nwoye’s growing changes from a boy to a real man. Even though Nwoye experienced dynamic change during his life, his personality in this book is flat. Nwoye decides to make his first change responded to his father’s dissatisfaction to him, “That was the kind of story that Nwoye loved. But he knew that they were for foolish women and children, and he knew that his father wanted him to be a man.” In Things Fall Apart, the descriptions of Nwoye mainly portray one kind of personality—fear towards his father Okonkwo. Thus, they have little interactions, which are always Okonkwo’s rebuke.
Okonkwo had an unhealthy relationship with his father, which is very negative object in Igbo culture where the father-son bond is a key part of life. Okonkwo, yearning to do for his son what his father never did for him, makes Nwoye feel the pressure of a false identity being pushed upon him. Sensitive, compassionate, and an overall peaceful
He was not there for his son and was an unpleasant man. Next, you have Gregor’s mother, she seems to be naïve when it comes to Gregor’s transformation. Grete and the father try to protect her from the true reality of the transformation. The mother is torn between love and fear toward her son. She comes off to the
First, his relationship with his father Unoka. Who he did not have a great relationship with. And someone he did not specifically care for. Someone he knew who just so happen to be his father. In the book there is a quote “okonkwo was ruled by one passion- to hate everything his father had loved”.