Things Fall Apart Essay

756 Words4 Pages
Achebe’s story Things Fall Apart shows the clash of cultures between the British Settlers and the Ibo people of Nigeria through two overlapping stories, which center around a man named Okonkwo. Okonkwo is a respected member of the Umuofia clan, a Nigerian tribe that is part of nine villages. He is haunted by the actions of his cowardly father. Okonkwo became a clansman, warrior, farmer, and family provider. A protagonist has many characteristics including having a goal, certain personality traits and multiple life changing events. Okonkwo is a fitting protagonist because of his personality, his life changing experiences and his loyalty that drives his actions.
Okonkwo is a fitting protagonist because of his personality. A protagonist is brave, has superior intelligence and has a character flaw. Okonkwo once spoke of a year that a massive rain had washed away the soil and ruined his clan’s yam harvest. Okonkwo said he “knew that he was a fierce fighter, but that year had
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Achebe said Okonkwo’s “whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness” (13). Everything Okonkwo does is because he is in fear of being like his father. Sometimes, he tries too hard and fails. Okonkwo does not want to look weak. As the clan killed Ikemefuna, “Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (61). The whole time Okonkwo was in exile, he knew he had lost his place in his clan. As soon as he was thrown out, he began to plan for his return. Okonkwo’s loyalty to his clan was larger than his life.
Throughout Things Fall Apart, Achebe follows Okonkwo because he is an important character. Okonkwo is obviously different from most clan members. Throughout the book, the characteristics of a protagonist can be seen in Okonkwo. Okonkwo is a fitting protagonist because of his personality, his life changing experiences and his loyalty that drives his
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