Manliness in some cultures has a big impact on their everyday life and social standing.The idea of manliness has affected the way, the character Okonkwo builds his relationship with his clan and his family. This can change people because if manliness is the only thing important to a person, it could affect his relationships with the people around him. In the novel Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe is revealing the theme, manliness, through Okonkwo 's actions, thoughts, and speech. The theme manliness was developed through Okonkwo’s actions.For example, in the book, the narrator said, “...Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought of weak”(61). This action that the narrator reveals to us, shows us that Okonkwo feels that he needs to kill Ikemefuna to prove his manliness. This is one example of a bad decision/action Okonkwo made because he was afraid of being thought of as weak. This action caused his son, Nwoye to …show more content…
Another way the theme was developed was through Okonkwo’s speech. For example, in the book, Okonkwo said, “If a man comes into my hut and defecates on the floor. What do I do? Do I shut my eyes? No! I take a stick and break his head. This is what a man does”(158). What Okonkwo is saying is that he should do whatever a man does because it is the manly thing to do. He should be brutal with everything he does, according to the author. He is speaking to Nwoye. Also in the book, Okonkwo said, “ If anyone prefers to be a woman, let him follow Nwoye now while I am alive so that I can curse him. If you turn against me when I am dead I will visit you and break your neck”(172). At this point, he is telling his other children that if they want to act not manly, they can follow their brother Nwoye, that he forbade. He is also affecting his relationship with his clansmen, for example the tone he talks to them, he acts like he does not care for their feelings and that he would kill them if they choose to follow in the steps of
Prompt 2 Okonkwo is driven by his hatred of his father and the fear he will become like him. Okonkwo saw his father, Unoka, as a coward and is ashamed to be his son. Everything that Okonkwo does is meant to set him apart from the legacy of his father. First, this is evident in his beating of his wives and even his aggression with his children. He is trying to show his strength and ensure he is not portrayed to be like his father: powerless and incapable.
Okonkwo's tragic flaw causes him to alienate his son Nwoye, who ultimately converts to Christianity and becomes an outcast in the community. Furthermore, Okonkwo's fear and anger also lead him to commit a crime, which is murder, and as a result, he is exiled from his community. He returns to find that his community is in disarray and unable to resist the colonizers and their culture, Okonkwo is unable to adapt or accept the changes that have taken place and ultimately takes his own life.
Okonkwo’s aggressive ways caused Nwoye to rely on Ikemefuna, A boy given to Okonkwo by a neighboring village, as an older brother who teaches him a more gentle form of masculinity. The bond between Nwoye and Ikemefuna was stronger than the bond between Nwoye and Okonkwo ever was because of Okonkwo’s refusal to demonstrate affection towards his son as it could make him appear weak. However, because of the death of Ikemefuna, Nwoye fears having to return to the harsh values of his father. Okonkwo’s stubborn ideas of masculinity ruined his relationship with his son beyond repair. Okonkwo’s refusal to show emotion towards his family pushed them apart which shows that Okonkwo is not willing to give up his stern values and reputation to be emotionally committed to his family.
The Search for Nwoye’s Identity. Our lives leads us in different directions. Nwoye at first struggled with identity, but then he found himself through Christianity. For the first time he desired something other than satisfying his father.
In the book “Things Fall Apart“ Okonkwo is a very strong man and from time to time he starts showing his true self. He has a lot of responsibilities and other things he has to do around the living environment and interact with lots of people. Okonkwo changes from being that strong man, to a man who feels like his tribe is not with him when he wants to go to war with the missionaries. For someone like Okonkwo a lot of people looks up to him and while in the tribe Okonkwo beats his wives and children. Not good behavior for someone who is supposedly looked at as strong.
Okonkwo is the protagonist, so it makes sense for him to demonstrate a lot of pride which he undeniably does. Okonkwo is constantly bragging and boastful talking about how many men he or Umuofia has killed and is constantly scared to be perceived as weak. An early example of this is in chapter 7 when Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna. He is advised by his elders not to go and just stay at home. But Okonkwo goes anyway, which leads to him killing Ikemefuna because "He was afraid of being thought weak.
Okonkwo was a big supporter of physical and verbal abuse in his home, especially towards his wives and Nwoye. To Okonkwo, physical abuse was another language. This is how he spoke, and punished, on the occasion of the abuse, and how he had handled the situation. Women was treated poorly in Umuofia because men believe that they were weak and in inadequate. “ Even as a little boy Okonkwo had represented 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.
Okonkwo Falls Apart Chinua Achebe offers a rare look at the natives perspective during colonialism in his work Things Fall Apart. The central struggle in the main character Okonkwo is that he is beginning to lose his way of life, and he is not able to do anything about it. Conflicts in religious beliefs with the arrival of the missionaries heightens Okonkwo 's internal aggression, and his inability to adapt leads to his downfall.
Fear is the core cause of the dramatic shift of lifestyle for both Okonkwo and Nwoye. Through the management of reputation and the avoidance of their father’s likeness, Okonkwo and Nwoye built new lives for themselves. Okonkwo sought power and authority to prove his masculinity and make up for Unoka’s reputation as a weak man. He did this to the point where manliness became his character. Fearlessness and violence were masculine qualities that in Igbo culture signifies strength and influence.
His fear of weakness and failure is derived from his father, Unoka’s failures, which ignite Okonkwo’s misogynistic views. Throughout his lifetime, Okonkwo associates femininity with weakness because of Unoka, who was called an “agbala” or woman by the people of Umuofia. Since women have this reputation for weakness, Okonkwo lives with constant fear that he will be given the same title as his father. Okonkwo’s first son, Nwoye’s effeminacy reminds Okonkwo of his own father. He says, "I have done my best to make Nwoye grow into a man, but there is much of his mother in him ."(Achebe, 66).
When Ikemefuna runs towards him, “Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (Achebe 13). Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna because he is afraid someone will believe he is weak and similar to his unsuccessful father. He lets this fear of compassion and failing control his life and his decisions. When he is faced with a difficult choice he completes the action that will portray him as a man and not as an agbala, a woman.
Despite the fact that his status in the Umuofia tribe was high-ranked, his masculinity seems to bulldoze over the qualities that humanize him. In a section of Psychology & Behavioral Health Vol.2 about fear, the author states, “Fear is an unpleasant emotion that occurs in response to an immediate and identifiable threat, usually of an external nature ” (Moglia). While faced with conflict Okonkwo detects a threat and reacts. In several instances these reactions have caused him immense losses such as the death of his adopted son. Okonkwo's temper always manages to shine through, Things Fall Apart depicts this perfectly by stating, “It is not only Ikemefuna who feels fear… every nerve in Okonkwo tells him this is wrong, but when the moment comes, he kills his adopted son.”
He was a caring man down in his heart but “his whole life was dominated by the fear, the fear of failure and of weakness” (Achebe 13), and his mission to become one of the greatest men of his clan. Okonkwo was devoted to masculinity, he put it above anything else preventing anyone from questioning his masculinity. When he felt a slight sign of weakness it reminded him of his fathers failure to being a true man not providing for his family or ruling women and his children, therefore “he was not really a man” (Achebe 53).There were many traits to being a masculine man but to Okonkwo the main one was ruling his wife and children, if any of them had disobeyed him he would beat them without hesitation or regret. Although Okonkwo is influenced by masculinity it is because the Ibo culture believes in men dominating women which leads their society to fall
According to Okonkwo’s tribe, the Igbo, masculinity is being strong, aggressive, and nourishing. Femininity is being weak, loving, compassionate, and devotional. Achebe highlights the definitions of masculinity and femininity to show that Okonkwo’s hypermasculinity causes his downfall. Okonkwo is trying to act too masculine and by completely rejecting feminine qualities, he sets up his destiny to be his downfall. The first instance in which things fall apart for Okonkwo is when a tribute from another village has to stay with Okonkwo for three years.