Who Is Okonkwo In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Decent Essays
Everyone has goals in life ,and strives to complete these goals throughout the course of their lives. Although it may be challenging to accomplish these goals, a person needs to know when to stop pushing themselves. In the novel, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, a stubborn man who lives in an African village strives to be the alpha male among everyone he knows. Okonkwo, once a great man, fell because his father's influence, his personality and the invading British. Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, was the opposite person that Okonkwo wants to be. He was poor, only had one wife, had no titles, and hated fighting. By being born into Unoka's home Okonkwo had to start completely from scratch: “Okonkwo did not have the start in life which many young…show more content…
Ikemefuna, a boy given to Okonkwo by a neighboring tribe, became very close to Okonkwo's son. Okonkwo too becomes very fond of Ikemefuna, who calls him “father” and is a perfect clansman, but Okonkwo does not demonstrate his affection because he fears that doing so would make him look weak. One day Ikemefuna was ordered to be killed and okonkwo and another man the boy out and the man started killing Ikemefuna: “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” (pg 61). Okonkwo's personality not only leads him to suicide but even leads him to brutally murder a child that has been living with him. The words “cut him down” really describe how merciless Okonkwo was when it came to not being weak. One other thing that should be put in consideration is that Okonkwo was traveling with a random stranger and although he did not know him he still decided he did not want to look weak in front of him. This quote is linked with how Okonkwo fell because it shows how far he will push himself and with this level of dedication comes comes huge punishments if he fails. Okonkwo’s son Nwoye starts going to a christian church where he is taught by white men about christianity. Okonkwo is furious about this and discusses it with his family: "You have all seen the great abomination of your brother. Now he is no longer my son or your brother. I will only have a son who is a man, who will hold his head up among my people. If any one of you prefers to be a woman, let him follow Nwoye now while I am alive so that I can curse him. If you turn against me when I am dead I will visit you and break your neck” (pg 172) Okonkwo has no respect for his son’s decisions at all. He is so embarrassed that one of his own sons decided to learn a different religion apart from
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