Okonkwo’s worst fear was to be the kind of man his father was, so he tried his best not to let his fear become a reality. With a father like Unoka, Okonkwo didn’t get the start as most young men in the village; however, he worked his way to the position of leadership of the clan. There was only one emotion that Okonkwo showed, and it was anger. This was his only emotion because it was how he expressed his feelings. Okonkwo had to leave his fatherland, but after returning home, he found his home unrecognizable.
This causes many of the villagers to question their identity including the main characters son, Nwoye. Nwoye was never very fond of his father (Okonkwo) because of how different they were. His anger towards Okonkwo kept building over the years and it solidified when Okonkwo killed Ikemefuna who Nwoye was very close with. When the missionaries built their church Nwoye had been seen there. This upset Okonkwo who lashed out causing Nwoye to leave and never come back.
However, because Okonkwo is unaware of the Christian culture he cannot act against his son. It is apparent that committing suicide is Okonkwo’s way of going against Christianity. This act not only costs him his life but it also takes away the respect Umuofia once had for
There are many different instances that shows Okonkwo being dishonorable. Even as early in the book as page 13, it states how Okonkwo was someone who was feared in his own household by his 3 wives and his children. Okonkwo had a “fiery temper” according to Achebe which led to him to explode in anger when ever there was something that didn't go his way. A perfect example of this was when Okonkwo broke the peace in the sacred Week of Peace “Okonkwo was provoked to justifiable anger by his youngest wife, who went to plait her hair at her friend’s house and did not return early enough to cook the afternoon meal… When she returned he beat her very heavily” (Achebe pg 29). That just shows how Okonkwo does not care about other people's needs and he expects his wives to only be at his service.
Okonkwo had not allowed his father, Unoka to form a personal bond with him. Unoka was considered an Agabal; woman, by the tribes men. Unoka’s lack of merit and utter laziness caused Okonkwo to want to be better than Unoka, and immerse himself in their cultural roles, by becoming a man. The fuel that had fed Okonkwo’s motivation to be a better man was his fear of failure. The author describes this theme, “ Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and ever beyond.
Okonkwo was a damaged man who for fear of being seen to resemble any aspect of his father lived in anger; something Unoka seldom showed. This damage carried through into his emotion ties like his wives and children and frequently beat his family to show masculinity. “Okonkwo knew she was not speaking the truth… And when she returned he beat her heavily. In his anger he had forgotten that it was the Week of Peace… But Okonkwo was not the man to stop beating somebody half-way through, not even for fear of a goddess.” (Achebe 29-30). Even besides the frequent beatings because although wrong, were normalized in Umuofia, Okonkwo had irreparable anger issues that caused him to lash out at anyone who crossed him in an
In the last minute, Okonkwo beheaded a British messenger who ordered the meeting held in Umuofia to be 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” (205). At this point Okonkwo was done dealing with the Brits and lost all hope in saving his tribe or restoring order to the land.
“His life had been ruled by a great passion”, the drive from being unlike Unoka set Okonkwo’s goal “to become one of the lords of the clan” but because of him being expelled he couldn’t “[achieve] it” (131). Okonkwo’s fear of being like his father came crashing down as he left Umuofia and lost all the titles he had worked for. He was forcefully reverted to his original identity, having nothing. This experience showed Okonkwo that no matter how hard he worked he could always end back in the position that Unoka was in because that is where everyone
An instance of this is when Okonkwo accidentally shoots and kills a boy resulting in his seven-year exile to his mother’s land, once he reaches his mother’s land he slips into a depression, reluctant to work or progress much at all in any sense, as exemplified in the quote, “his [Okonkwo’s] life had been ruled by a great passion—to become one of the lords of the clan… then everything had been broken. He had been cast out of his clan like a fish to dry” (Achebe, 97 Online). This shows how Okonkwo slipped into a state of emptiness, his greatest passion was to become a figurehead of his clan and yet he fell short, sending him crashing into a depression. In particular, Okonkwo was weakened to see everything he built with utmost effort burned to the ground, he fell to a point of devastation in which he could do little but doubt himself as the world he built came crumbling down around him. He was broken through this failure, although he did eventually come back to his strength, staying strong to come back to his clan in his most climactic
A similar choice is required by the Price family, in The Poisonwood Bible, as they move from Georgia, U.S.A. to the Belgian Congo in 1959 to serve a Baptist mission. In both of the novels the characters struggles to adapt to new lifestyles that they are not use to. In Things Fall Apart Okonkwo has a controlling personality where he struggles to adapt to change in his tribe. Okonkwo, leader of the Umuofia tribe has a strong, manly, and harsh mindset that is claimed to have helped him succeed financially and socially. But later on, Christian and new political values are coming into their tribe and Okonkwo does not want his people to follow them because he might lose his power and social status.