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.
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.
In the book “Things Fall Apart” written by Chinua Achebe, the main character “Okonkwo” is led down an unexpected path that would soon end in his demise. Okonkwo is a strong and respected man in his village of Umuofia. Okonkwo grew up with a fear of weakness and failure that leads him down his path that he grew to hate. Okonkwo’s fate happened because of his fear of weakness and his obsession with getting rid of weakness in his village. Okonkwo’s fear didn’t happen by himself, it happened because of his father.
Nwoye avoided to be alone with his father out of fear, while Okonkwo grieved over his deed. “Okonkwo did not answer. But he left hold of Nwoye, who walked away and never returned.” (Achebe, 152). Since the new religion came Nwoye was fascinated by what the missionaries believed in causing Nwoye to renounce his previous culture, and leave his family behind. The religion greatly angered Okonkwo because it made his oldest son to betray his beliefs and morals since birth.
In the story “Things Fall Apart”, Okonkwo is a character who is recognized as a successful wrestler, and a strong leader in the village Umuofia. Okonkwo is exiled to his mother’s village called Mbanta for seven years for killing Ezeudu’s sixteen-year-old son. Okonkwo finds out that his son Nwoye has joined Christianity and takes exception to it. Okonkwo beats Nwoye because he joins Christianity because he still hasn’t forgiven Okonkwo for killing Ikemefuna. Okonkwo has a response to the collision of his culture.
Okonkwo killed his son. And with that remorse of doing so he begins his journey of self destruction. This is all he knows, to shut down and behave in such a manner where refusal to show grief is necessary for his growth. As mentioned earlier Okonkwo also beats his wives and children. 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.
“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
In things fall apart the author Chinua Achebe talks in first person about Okonkwo being very passionate about family because he really never had one. As far as Okonkwo not having a stable family all because his father Unoka was not around. His father was more important with gambling and putting the family in debt. As in things fall apart the author Chinua Achebe displayed the importance of valuing family through plot and tone. Okonkwo was a very powerful person that considered the whole Umuofia as family.