Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe- 5 Meaningful Quotes Revolving Around Okonkwo

1597 Words Sep 24th, 2008 7 Pages
In the essay Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, there are five meaningful quotes that revolve around Okonkwos status during his life. In the beginning of the novel Okonkwo became an important part of his village early in his life when he defeated Amaline the Cat in a wrestling match. His victory made him a celebrity among the nine villages of Umuofia because Amaline had been undefeated for seven years. At this point, Okonkwo began on the path to high social status among his village, which was his goal throughout his life.

The first quote that the narrator metaphorically describes is how great status can be achieved at a young age, Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his
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Okonkwo showed great interest in Ikemefuna and treated him like his son. However, Ikemefuna was boy from another village sacrificed to keep peace, thus soon there came a time when Ikemefuna had to die. The narrator shows that Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna, The pot fell and broke in the sand. He heard Ikemefuna cry, 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. (Chapter 7 Pg. 61) Although Okonkwo loved Ikemefuna and had much affection for him, Okonkwo was forced to leave all of his emotions behind in order to kill Ikemefuna and not be seen as a weak man who could not kill another man. Okonkwo showed no mercy as he was blinded by his fear of his fathers submissive attitude. Oknokwo had to protect his status as a true warrior in his clan and if he was not able to slay Ikemefuna, then Okonkwo fears that he might be called an agbala just like Unoka, Okonkwos father. This quote also shows that Oknokwo is willing to sacrifice virtually everything in order to keep his high rank among his tribe.

For two days after Ikemefuna died, Okonkwo did not eat. He was uneasy about killing the boy, but he tried to ignore his guilt because it wouldn't be manly to do otherwise. Okonkwo is still very determined to keep his status in his village and does very hard not to show his emotions.

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