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Okonkwo's Relationship With His Father

Decent Essays
Achebe uses Okonkwo’s relationship with his father to show how one person can affect a person their whole life. Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, did not give Okonkwo the start in life that most of the young tribesman do, and all of the village looked down upon him. In one instance Unoka had gone to consult the Oracle of the Hills and the caves about his meager harvest during the year. As he began his story the Oracle interrupts him and declares that “You, Unoka, are known in all the clan for the weakness of your machete and your hoe. … Go home and work like a man”(Achebe 17-18). In this encounter Unoka loses some of the respect that the tribesman, and his own son had for him. (Unoka’s Death?) From the beginning Okonkwo knew he did not want to grow up like his father and worked hard to generate a prosperous future. He had to work extremely hard, would do…show more content…
He believed that his father’s actions were feminine and therefore worked hard to become a warrior. Along with not wanting to appear feminine, Okonkwo does not think his actions through. When Ikemefuna was brought into Okonkwo’s family, he accepted him and the two became very close. But after three years Ikemefuna was sentenced to death and Okonkwo was sent out with him. As the man raised up his machete Ikemefuna run to Okonkwo, “My father, they have killed me!” as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak”(Achebe 61). In this split second Okonkwo lets his emotions and fears of appearing weak win and did not allow himself time to think. Achebe utilizes Okonkwo to display the principle of cause and effect. Okonkwo is very proactive and does things on a whim. By doing so he makes hasty decisions that will be regretted in the long run. Okonkwo’s suicide was caused by a hasty decision and the responses of the tribesman. “He heard voices asking: “Why did he do it?”(Achebe
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