All Okonkwo ever wanted was to be better than his father. Not to prove to himself that he was better, but to prove it to the other villagers. As a way to achieve this, he hardened himself at young age and took lead role in his homelife. Okonkwo was never complacent until Ikemefuna came only. Okonkwo had plenty of children, but none of them to ever be just right. Nwoye reminded him too much Unoka and put the fear of repetition in his heart and Enzima was perfect, she knew Okonkwo like the back of her hand but she was of course, a female. Ikemefuna took up the son role.
Okonkwo life is “dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness” (Achebe 13). When Okonkwo was a boy, his playmates teased him calling, saying that his father was agbala. Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, was lazy. He did not work on his farm; he died in great debt. He did not acquire a single title. He did not have a barn to pass down to his son. Unoka is a type of man who is scorned in Umofia. He is seen as weak and effeminate. As Okonkwo grows older, he is determined not become a failure like his father. His father was weak; he will be strong. His father was lazy; he will be hard-working. Okonkwo earned his fame by defeating the reigning wrestling champion. Okonkwo diligently plants yam, building a successful farm. He builds himself an obi, has three wives and many children. His fame “rested on solid personal achievements” (Achebe 3). Okonkwo will not let one womanly trait sully his reputation. Therefore, he “hate[d] everything that his father Unoka had loved” (Achebe 13). One of these was gentleness. Okonkwo refuses to show any signs of emotion, except his temper. He
Okonkwo trying to be the best he can be, tries too hard to be something that he is inevitably not, leading to his own demise. He drowns in the idea of the tribe’s values, morals, rules, etc., that he is not focusing on what is in front of him. He rather please the people around him, than the ones who care about him naturally. We as readers, see the cause of Okonkwo’s attitude and how it affects him and his relationship with Nwoye. When taking care and raising your children, you need to be aware that you are not just helping them grow and guiding them towards their future, but you are also shaping them as individuals, influencing their thoughts, ingraining family values, and preparing them for generations ahead. What gets taught to kids, gets sewed into the fabric of their character, core values and principals, and gets passed down from generation to generation. Although Okonkwo tried to step out of that state of mind, he inevitably fell back into it. Just like he made the decision to change himself into a better, stronger, stone cold person, he could have also put his family first unlike his father
It can be said that Okonkwo was doomed from the start seeing as his father did not provide for him, leaving him to fend for himself early on but for me it is another sad excuse for his inexcusable actions. Despite these very negative traits, Okonkwo does possesses some positive ones. For instance he is very hardworking. This is shown throughout the book especially during harvest and planting seasons. However Okonkwo’s hard work does not make up for the fact that he is not in control of his passionate hate for his father and fear of becoming like Unoka, allowing it overcome him causing him to physically hurting people in his life. I have no respect for Okonkwo seeing as his actions due to his fear and hate of his father paired with his excuses are not something that should ever be respected or even tolerated leaving me to dislike him
Okonkwo, in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, was faced with many hardships in his life. When growing up he had to deal with a lazy father, then when he was older he had to kill a boy that called him father, and he also accidentally killed a young boy from his village. These events played a very tragic role in Okonkwos life.
Throughout the story Okonkwo refuses to show weakness to others. Okonkwo is greatly affected by this because “The Igbo people emphasized personal achievement”(Ohadike 240). This makes him very vulnerable when it comes to showing his strength to his village. So, when the elders of the village decide that his adopted son Ikemefuna must be killed, Okonkwo goes along with them to show that he is not weak. At first Okonkwo decides to back off from the group of people about to kill Ikemefuna but, decides to come back onces he hears Ikemfuna’s
Okonkwo’s fear of being like his father has terrorized his mindset and influenced him to the extent of opposing anything that pertains or causes him to be perceived as woman like. Okonkwo believes that a man is “not really a man” if he is unable to rule his family members (45). Hence Okonkwo developed a bad side to his personality - an aggressive manner that causes his family to greatly fear him. Okonkwo demonstrates his fiery temper through his persistent violent actions which include him beating his wife in the Week of Peace, and murdering Ikemefuna when he advised not to. Okonkwo’s violent actions cause him to be portrayed as different from the initial heroic description given of him.Okonkwo’s aggressiveness is not only recognized by his family members - the people of Umuofia also recognized Okonkwo as a person who uses aggressive words and brusqueness to “kill a man’s spirit” (9). Okonkwo’s actions demonstrate that Okonkwo has a conflicting
Okonkwo was a man of action and sometimes that was a bad thing So he had a Friend named Obierika who was really wise and quite possibly the wisest in the tribe. When okonkwo is really quick to actions Obierika tries to slow him down and keep him from making irrational decisions with wise judgement. As time passes Okonkwo 's clan Umuofia had a problem with a neighboring clan which killed the wife of one of their members, So to keep the peace they made a trade of one boy and girl the Boy name was Ikemefuna and he was given to Okonkwo. Okonkwo started to love the boy like a son and even more than
Now despite all his good qualities Okonkwo had a pretty troubled past with his dad Unoka. Coming from the book “Things Fall Apart” it is mentioned that “When Unoka died he had taken no titles and was heavily in debt. Any wonder then that his son Okonkwo was ashamed of him?” This quotation from Chapter One demonstrates how Okonkwo felt about his father, even after his death. This trait is represented by how hard he tries to be number one, and his hatred towards his father. He is strongly motivated to not be like his father in anyway, Okonkwo uses the past to push for the best and to be the best.
“Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand”(Achebe pg.13). Some might say that Okonkwo is a cold man who cares for no one else, while others say that he is a bit of a softie. Through the story we are able to see two main sides to Okonkwo, a sympathetic and unsympathetic side. Okonkwo lived a difficult life. His father was a lazy man, who owed many others heavy wages. Okonkwo knew that in order to become a strong, respected man in the village he had to prove himself to not be like his father. He worked hard to get to where he wanted to be and on the way developed a somewhat cold hearted attitude towards things. All he cared about was being successful unlike his father. Unfortunately, due to this he pushed his sympathetic feelings aside. Okonkwo’s family relationships make him a sympathetic character because
Before the Western influence was introduced, Okonkwo was a very confident and successful man who brought achievements to his tribe and himself by “throwing the Amalinze, the cat [the great wrestler who was unbeaten for seven years].” (Achebe 13) Okonkwo was also very manly and believed in not showing emotions like his father, Unoka. His father was very different from Okonkwo because he was known as “lazy and improvident and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow.” (14) Throughout the novel Okonkwo had many experiences when he could not show weakness especially with Ikemfuna when “Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak.” (65) In this novel Okonkwo focuses so much on not becoming like his father that he does these horible things with Ikemfuna and his wives also "ran madly into his room for the loaded gun, ran out and aimed at her [Ekwefi, the second wife] as she clambered over the dwarf wall of the barn" (45). Through all of these incidents he felt like he must show his manliness and power over the situations and he usually portrayed his power through violence. He was a great warrior and was respected throughout the nine villages but his temper
In the novel ‘Thing Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe Okonkwo is a protagonist. Critics also refer to him as a tragic hero. A tragic hero can be defined as a person who holds a position of power and he chooses his own way of doing things, has a tragic flaw and knows the reasons as to why they go through what they are going through. Okonkwo as depicted in this novel made a lot of decisions, very full aware of the consequences of his actions. Okonkwo was a well-respected man of the Umuofia clan (Bloom 4). He is afraid that he will end up becoming like lazy father Unoka and therefore ends up making a lot of decisions that later lead to his tragic suicide.
Other critics believe Okonkwo has the ability and power to control his fate, as well as his chi, throughout his life. For instance, “Okonkwo resorts to violence in order to maintain control of a situation and assert his manliness” (Iyasere 68). This quote nearly means Okonkwo must constantly oversee situations, especially situations involving his chi. Because of his physical strength and persistently violent attitude, Okonkwo is feared, as well as respected, by those around him as a leader and conqueror. “His fame rested on solid personal achievements,” Chinua Achebe shares (1). Besides his physical attributes, Okonkwo “treat[s] [others] with great honor and respect” (Achebe 12), but not his chi. Instead of bargaining with his chi about certain decisions regarding his fate, such as immediately apologizing to his wife during the Week of Peace, Okonkwo alternatively “mold[s] his chi to his will,” Solomon Iyasere claims, in order to get what he wants (68). This violent
Okonkwo was influenced man many external forces. Okonkwo beats his children and his wives because “He had no patience with unsuccessful men. He had had no patience with his father” (4). Unoka, Okonkwo’s father, was a very lazy man and an outside force that helped craft Okonkwo’s lifestyle. Okonkwo saw the way his father lived and hated how useless, he was in the world, so he was influenced to not become lazy and especially not to allow his kids to become anything like his father or they got beat. Okonkwo was a brave and powerful man “ But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness” (13). Okonkwo didn't want people to see him as weak, and because of this Okonkwo was very wealthy. In Okonkwo’s clan, how many titles the person has taken and the number of barns full of yams was the way to tell if someone was wealth and success. In these circumstances, Okonkwo had two tiles and two barns full of yams, so he was a extremely successful and wealthy man. In Okonkwo’s clan, British colonialism settled to try and convert the Ibo people to Christianity. Okonkwo did not like this and wanted to kill them all but his clan said no. Okonkwo ends up killing a Christian
During the Week of Peace, Okonkwo youngest wife leaves the house without cooking dinner, so he beats her. He is fined by the priest money and animals for his offense. The offense was not for beating his wife, but for beating her during the Week of Peace. Since then, 3 years