Essay on Things Fall Apart Book

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Boston College
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In the book Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is considered to be a great man in the tribe of Igbo who is popularly known in the nine villages. The main reason that had made him famous during the time of his youth was after he had defeated the great wrestler in the community. His father Unoka was a lazy man and had ended up dying with big debts as he was often borrowing from his neighbors, friends, wife, and children. The fall Okonkwo was contributed by the behavior of his father about his concern about the opinion of others and his inability to change.

Okonkwo feared to be like his father and hence tried to distance himself from him which makes Okonkwo angry, aggressive and violent. His temper makes him be in conflict with his religion, family, clan and also the missionaries. Okonkwos constant disagreements with his father resulted in him believing in what was wrong despite knowing what was correct. His father makes him be confused about life. Okonkwo did things opposite of what his father was doing as he believed if he acted as his father he would also be a failure. Okonkwo had the belief that the worst thing a man could do is to act like a woman and this and so he did most of the things so that the society would not consider him as being a woman in which most of them were the wrong things to do. He fails to understand that the masculine and feminine qualities would result to his greatness once they are combined. Okonkwos anger had made him beat his first wife during the week of peace which was a crime as he broke the sacred week. Okonkwo also beats his second wife for cutting few banana leaves to wrap food. His anger caused him to make mistakes and commit crimes.

Okonkwo killed Ikemefuna out of the fear of being regarded as weak as his father. It was after the oracle of the caves and hills had claimed that Ikemefuna to be killed. Okonkwo wanted to be part of the killing despite hosting the young boy as his son and prove to the community that he was a warrior and hence killed Ikemefuna himself. It was not the right thing to do even after being warned by the older clan member he was not ready to change his mind, and this contributed towards his downfall.

The same way Unoka had lost faith with his people, Okonkwo had started to lose faith with most of his friends this leads to his downfall in the community. Okonkwos hopes of being famous and rich slowly start to diminish away now that he no longer owned his farm or animals. His animals and huts had been burned to the ground to make his land clean again after he had killed Ezendus son using his son during the burial of that old clan member which was a crime. It led to him being thrown out of the clan for seven years.

In conclusion, Okonkwo can be blamed for his downfall which was as a result of pride that made him not to change and do what was right despite being corrected by those who were considered to be the elders of the clan. Okonkwo was very concerned about the peoples opinion concerning him and did not want them to view him as being a woman, and this made him make wrong decisions. Okonkwos fear of being like his father made bad decisions despite knowing what was right. Okonkwos disagreements with the failure attributed to his father were in contrast to his success which made him worse than him ending up as a tragic hero.

Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe. 2014.


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