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.
But Okonkwo goes anyway, which leads to him killing Ikemefuna because "He was afraid of being thought weak." Okonkwo was too proud to have stayed home and done the ethical thing. Okonkwo's pride is displayed throughout the entire book with his constant focus on strength and his fear of being thought of as a coward. Going from the beginning to the end, in chapter 24 Okonkwo kills a head messenger during a meeting. "He knew that Umuofia would not got to war.
Within the novel “Things Fall Apart,” the author, Chinua Achebe, explained how a warrior named Okonkwo was a victim of himself. Okonkwo was a victim of tragic events that surrounded his life. These events eventually lead him to his fate. Okonkwo had a father who was weak, and he was a failure in the eyes of the men of the village, Umuofia. 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.
I will further explain more about the theme. In the beginning of the story, Okonkwo was a very vigorous man who everyone loves. One day a killing happened leaving Okonkwo with a wife and a son, Ikemefuna. He grew to like the young boy, where he is different from his other children, On a fateful day, Okonkwo murders Ikemefuna. Okonkwo had a load of guilt for killing his adoptive son, Ikemefuna.
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.
He performs fatal flaw and banishes on behalf of it only to come back seven years later in a complete disappointment. All his life Okonkwo has been an undefeated man who is respected, honored and titled. Nevertheless, his anxiety of weakness and failure lead to his ultimate defeat.
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.
Okonkwo in “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, is thought of as a strong, great man. Yes, he is a fierce warrior and a very strong man. Another reason to respect him is that he is a very wealthy and successful yam farmer in his clan. Okonkwo also is married to three wives. All of this is just the beginning, okonkwo is not all that great of a man deep down as is shown in the story.
Okonkwo asks himself, “you are known in all the nine villages for your valour in war? How can a man who has killed five men in battle fall to pieces because he has added a boy to their number?”(Achebe 65). These repetitive questions cause Okonkwo to go in a state of disbelief and reveal his insecurities and self-doubt, even prompting him to call himself a woman. What was once a powerful man that had displayed his “valor in war” has now ironically become the essence of everything he has feared: his
Okonkwo is the protagonist and tragic hero of this story. He was a man who let the fear of looking weak get the best of him and he ended up doing things he didn’t want to do. His deadbeat father was the blame of how he ended up being in life. His life went downhill really fast. He dealt with things back to back and he didn’t see things getting any better.