The Power of Fear in Things Fall Apart Essays

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The Power of Fear in Things Fall Apart In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the theme of the power of fear is presented throughout the whole book and is mainly expressed in the main character, Okonkwo. Okonkwo strives all of his life to become a stronger, more powerful, and a successful individual. He wants to do this because his father was a slack and lazy person who lived most of his life in debt and had no titles to his name. People often looked at his father as a women figure for the few achievements he redeemed. Okonkwo never wanted to be like his father and it eventually got to the point where he became fearful of becoming like him. Achebe uses the power of fear as a theme of to show how much it can devastate one’s…show more content…
For all of his desire to be strong, Okonkwo is caught up by the constant fear of being perceived as weak. He is afraid of failure and afraid of being considered weak. This fear drives him to do whatever he can to not become a failure like his father which ironically contributes to his death. While Okonkwo was a strong and important figure in his tribe, he had to keep his reputation that way by making some hard decisions. One of them was when he had to kill Ikemefuna, a young boy from the neighboring tribe. Okonkwo started accepting the decision to kill Ikemefuna because he started to call Okonkwo father. He had to keep his own valor intact and kill the boy to prevent himself from showing any weakness, but deep down, Okonkwo was really upset because of what he did which was ironic, “’When did you become a shivering old woman,' Okonkwo asked himself, '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 65). He continued to roll downhill when the white man comes to try and convert Okonkwo’s tribe. Okonkwo responds by killing one of the messengers that were sent. This cause Okonkwo's own tribe to question his actions. “"Okonkwo stood looking at the dead man. He knew that Umuofia would not go to war. He knew because they had let the other messengers escape.

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