Essay on Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Chinua Achebe’s “Things fall apart” is a story about a man named Okonkwo who is successful and physically strong. However, Okonkwo is emotionally unavailable and afraid that he will be seen as weak and that others will compare him to his father. The book’s peak is when Okonkwo does something considered immoral by killing a boy who he had taken in and raised as his own for three years, because he did not want to be seen as weak. Okonkwo is ruled by one obsession and that is to hate everything that his father had loved. Okonkwo’s birthright was fear, fear that he would become like his father. His whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness. The irony in the story is that Okonkwo’s life ends much like his father’s…show more content…
He preferred working on his farm to feasting and he sought the approval of his tribesman because they tribesman respected courage and manliness. Okonkwo killed Ikemefuna because he did not want other tribesman to see him as weak, although they had advised Okonkwo not to participate. They knew that Ikemefuna had become a part of Okonkwo’s family during the three years that he lived with them while the tribe was deciding his fate. Okonkwo was fond of Ikemefuna although he would never show it. Ikemefuna grew to like Okonkwo more than his own father, a person whom Ikemefuna was not very fond of at all. Okonkwo was who Ikemefuna called to the first time he was struck with a machete and it was Okonkwo who struck the fatal blow. Okonkwo felt terrible afterwards for killing Ikemefuna, his family knew this because Okonkwo did not sleep or eat anything for days. Okonkwo killed the boy because he was afraid of being seen as spineless, however he still saw himself as weak for feeling sensitivity. Okonkwo said to himself, “when did you become a shivering old woman, you, who are known in all the nine villages for your valor 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? Okonkwo, you have become a woman indeed” (Achebe, 1959.) Okonkwo felt that showing affection was a sign of weakness, so the only emotion his family felt from him were feelings of anger and
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