Okonkwo And Igbo Culture Analysis

1178 Words5 Pages
Hannah Lee
Mrs White
AP Literature
27 October 2014
The Death of Okonkwo and Igbo Culture The classic novel Things Fall Apart, written by a Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, has accounts of the Igbo people’s ways of living until the arrival of the Europeans who bring social and cultural change to Africa. In response to the stark negative portrayal of Africa by the biased European colonialists, the author attempts to reveal both problems and beauty in the African ethics; in order to provide a sharp criticism of imperialism, Achebe portrays the main character Okonkwo’s resistance in conforming to the new culture brought by the colonialists. In the novel, Okonkwo exhibits a solid personality that influences his response to numerous conflicts that
…show more content…
Such idea is seen when Okonkwo reacts violently against his wives, and women are prohibited to gain prominent political roles in the Igbo society. Yet Achebe maintains to value the role of women, as seen in the first part of the chapter when Oberika reminds Okonkwo of the value of a mother as she protects a child; the warm welcome that Okonkwo receives from his family during his exile, as well as Ekwefi’s fondness for her daughter Eznima even though Okonkwo views it as worthless, signifies the strength of women, not physically but…show more content…
Achebe also provides description of the local judiciary, such as the masked spirits known as egwugwu, who maintain the law and order of the clan. Despite Reverend Smith’s and the district commissioner’s biased view of the Igbo society that it is too primitive and basic, the author symbolizes the death of Okonkwo as the unity and complexity of the traditional Igbo culture.
Though Okonkwo’s death is meant to be a tragic ending for Things Fall Apart, Achebe interprets Okonkwo’s suicide as not only a negative consequence but an event that reflects the importance of tradition to the people of Africa. Ultimately, Okonkwo’s internal and external conflicts cause the death of Okonkwo, and through the occurrence the author brings insight on and appreciates the intricacy and value of traditional Nigerian culture to the
Open Document