The people of the African tribes were naïve of the white man’s true intentions with their land. The white men seemed disinterested in tribal affairs upon their arrival, and the “clan had assumed that [they] would not survive” (Line 1 Achebe). Although, it is these thoughts that foreshadow the eventual demise of the tribal members, and even greater, the whole of African freedom. The rest of the book from this point forward slowly led to the overtaking of the white men and the misunderstanding of the African tribes. Okonkwo’s suicide is a symbol for how clan had killed itself from the inside.
The death of Okonkwo at the end was unpredictable because throughout the novel, Chinua Achebe described him as a strong warrior who feared of nothing besides failure and weakness. When Okonkwo committed suicide, he also committed the only thing he feared, and that was
Okonkwo wants Nwoye “to be a great farmer and a great man” however, Nwoye is showing signs of laziness like his grandfather Unoka. Since, Nwoye was starting to be lazy, Okonkwo would “correct him by constant nagging and beating.” Okonkwo thought beating him was teaching him to not be lazy and be a great man. However, it just made turn and push away. Okonkwo’s relationship with Nwoye “is turning father hating into a new trend into the family.”
However, Okonkwo ends up disowning his son, Nwoye after he abandons the Igbo religion. The decision by Okonkwo to disown his only son for following another religion is yet another example of Igbo’s inability to deal with change, especially that which has not existed within the Igbo language. By abandoning his own religion, Nwoye disrespects his father in the worst possible way.
Rick Godwin once said, “One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain”. In the novel “Things Fall Apart”, by Chinua Achebe Okonkwo resists changes when the british missionaries arrive and it causes conflicts throughout the novel. His defiance, warrior-like, manliness behavior leads him to his suicide when he realizes change sometimes can not be controlled. Okonkwo’s nobility and prosperity is revealed through his success and leadership within the clan. Aristotle stated in “On Tragedy” that “He must be one who is highly renowned and prosperous.”.
A sense of identity is often acquired and developed by everyone as they mature, but it is always changing as the culture changes. The novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, follows the development of several characters in response to a cultural shock caused by the Westernization of the Ibo tribe in Nigeria. The protagonist of the book, Okonkwo, is a strong, diligent leader and supercilious warrior of the tribe who obsessed over his masculine image. However, Okonkwo’s eldest son, Nwoye, tries to shadow and please his father, but ultimately fails for he has a soft side. Especially when it comes to religion, Nwoye’s believes, morals, and interests often diverse from his fathers.
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
You drove him to kill himself;” (Achebe, Pg. 183) Okonkwo, a man of power who was greatly revered by his family, lost all his valuable objects, power, titles, and his son due to the white men’s new religion. He could not stand seeing his own religion fading away and thus, hanged himself. Those extremists who were introduced a new culture were at first in a great dilemma but their minds were later occupied with anger. “They greatly resented abandoning their age-old traditions, and strongly resisted the western powers.”
Okonkwo is very aware of his self-image and wants to be viewed as a hero in the Ibo tribe. If Okonkwo was to act feminine he would not be seen as a hero, but he would be insulted instead. Okonkwo’s father was a very lazy, weak man with no desires or ambitions. Okonkwo strived to be the opposite of who his father was and wants to have a totally different reputation than his father. ‘Even as a little boy he had resented his father’s failure and weakness, and even now he still remembered how he had suffered when a playmate had told him that his father was agbala.
(Achebe 176). This quote foreshadows the inevitable Okonkwo, the hot-headed leader rules with an ample iron fist. He believes that violence is always the answer and showing weakness is not an option. He wants to seem like the strongest person in the tribe to erase the negative connotation that his father Unoka left behind as the past leader. The novel’s main character, Okonkwo, is perceived as a tragic hero because of his unconventional leadership practices