Fire symbolizes masculinity, ander, and strength , both which Okonkwo represents.Okonkwo is associated with fire throughout the novel,alluding his intense and dangerous anger. He allows his anger to consume him and take control of his actions.In Chapter 1 page 1 it states ,”He had a slight stammer and whenever he was angry and could not get his words out quickly enough,he would use his fists.”Okonkwo had a real anger problem because he associates masculinity with aggression and anger which is why anger is the only emotion he displays.He even shows anger towards his wives and children because his whole life was dominated by fear of failure and of weakness.In Chapter Two page 10 it states,”Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand.His wives,especially the youngest,lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper,and so did his little children.”Okonkwo frequently beats his wives and even threatens them so he won 't appear weak and feminine like his father.Another quote from Chapter 17 page 133 it states,”Okonkwo was popularly called the ‘Roaring Flame.’As he looked into the log of fire he recalled the name.He was a flaming fire.How could he then have a begotten on like Nwoye...Okonkwo 's eyes were opened and he saw the whole matter clearley.Living fire begets cold,impotent ash.”Okonkwo can become to far overwhelmed with his rage to control it any further,and it ultimately can destroy him,leaving him gray and lifeless like the ashes of
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.
He wanted to defeat the British in every way but he had lost the support and respect of his clansman because of his actions. Without the help and support of his village he knew he wasn’t going to be able to defeat the British alone and he was defeated in the end. So much had changed so quickly in his life and everything had just got the best of him. He committed suicide and that was very disgraceful just like the same type of death his father suffered. Okonkwo is the protagonist and tragic hero of this story.
In the novels it reflects the presence of not only patriarchal dominance, but also religious, cultural, and racial puissance. Ironically, the reaction of oppressed to the oppressor tends to hasten rebellion instead of discourage it. Cruelty, in turn, highlights both the strength of different characters and societies and their points of fragility and misuse of power, and pushes its victims to break out of the boxes they have been forced in. Things Fall Apart uses cruelty as a critical centerpiece to much of the novel’s events. Its main character, Okonkwo, is built off of it.
An instance of this is when Okonkwo killed Ikemefuna, who was basically his adoptive son and whom he had grown very fond of but had been sentenced to death, “dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him [Ikemefuna] down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (Achebe, 44 Online). In that moment he feared that if he didn’t kill his son he would be seen as weak, so he executed his son just to prove his devotion and strength. Ikemefuna’s execution exemplifies Okonkwo’s
Throughout Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, literary devices such as foreshadowing, irony, and others are used to give the reader a deeper understanding of the text, and convey the author 's ideas and points. Examples of these occurrences include how Okonkwo is often described in terms of fire and flames. Okonkwo’s nickname was even said to be “Roaring Flame” (Achebe. Page 153), because to him, the image or thought of fire symbolizes masculinity, potential, and life. Achebe uses is irony.
He is furious that his tribe would allow people to continually insult their ancestors and gods. Everyone in his tribe had conformed to this new religion. They not only survive but thrive because of the new trading ect. that the white men offered. However, Okonkwo doesn’t take to the white people as easily as the rest of his tribe.
Many people questioned Amin on this as he had blatantly killed a sacred man. Amin then claimed “You have freedom of speech, but freedom AFTER speech – that I cannot guarantee.”(Source 10). Amin grew increasingly arrogant as people grew more and more frightened of him. People learnt of his brutality towards his people and his ruthlessness. He said “I consider myself the most powerful figure in the world, and that is why I do not let any superpower control me.” (Source 9).
He is described as a hardworking, strict and serious man who fears to become anything like his father, Unoka - who is described as a lazy and a coward, yet a gentle person ("And so Okonkwo was ruled by one passion - to hate everything that his father Unoka had loved. One of those things was gentleness and another was idleness. ", Achebe, page 10). Okonkwo is also described as hot tempered man, as his three wives and eight children fears his temper. When Okonkwo commits the crime of accidentally killing a boy (he had already committed the crime of beating one his wives on Week of Peace), he is exiled from his tribe for seven years.
Hester Prynne also affects Chillingworth because “That old man’s revenge has been blacker than my sin.” (Hawthorne 203). Dimmesdale endures the harsh punishments given to him by Chillingworth due to his anger and thirst for revenge. Chillingworth is blinded by revenge because he only seeks to harm Dimmesdale which is a result of a sin symbolized by the scarlet letter. This truly depicts the effect the scarlet letter has had on characters surrounding it due to the fact that Chillingworth has developed into someone who only wants revenge and that Dimmesdale can no longer handle the guilt of his sin. The symbol conveys romantic ideals since the characters must endure the pain on their own because of the fear that society will no longer accept