Okonkwo, Things Fall Apart Essay

1009 words - 4 pages

An Essay on Things Fall Apart
"Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all." (Aristotle). Okonkwo is a perfect example of Aristotle’s quote in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Even though he is said to be the most powerful man in Umuofia, Okonkwo’s personal imperfections of fear, failure and uncontrollable anger do not allow him true eminence as a human being.
Okonkwo is one of the most influential men in the Ibo tribe. In his tribe, he is both feared and honored. Which is evident by this quote, "Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond... [He] had brought honor to his tribe by throwing Amalinze the Cat..."(Achebe page:3) This suggests that in Okonkwo's society, power is achieved by making a name for yourself in any way possible, even if that means fighting and wrestling to get your fame. Although honor is a good thing, when people have to fight to gain it, it becomes an object of less adoration. Okonkwo's "prosperity was visible in his household... his own hut stood behind the only gate in the red walls. Each of his three wives had her own hut... long stacks of yams stood out prosperously in [the bam]... [Okonkwo] offers prayers on the behalf of himself, his three wives, and eight children." (Achebe page:14) Okonkwo has also worked and tended to his crops in a very zealous fashion, and drives everyone around him to work as hard as he does. Because of this, he earns his place as one of Umuofia's most powerful men. In many cultures, a big family is a source of pride. Although Okonkwo is not always pleased by his children and wives, it also brings him a source of pride to have three wives and eight children. Large families mean that the head of the family is able to support all of them. Okonkwo's devotion to his crops and family gives to him the respect that any father and husband deserves, and in his culture, being able to fight and kill, as well, gives him even more influence and power.
Okonkwo's first and most prominent flaw is his fear of becoming a failure. It is greatly influenced by his father, but Okonkwo takes his fear to the extreme. Okonkwo's father was a very lazy and carefree man. He had a reputation of being "poor and his wife and children had just barely enough to eat... they swore never to lend him any more money because he never paid back." (Achebe Page: 5) In Umuofia, a father is supposed to teach the children right and wrong, and in this case, the lessons were not taught, but self-learned. Okonkwo had to rely on his own interpretations of what defined a "good man" and to him that was someone that was the exact opposite of his father. As a result of his own self-taught conclusions, Okonkwo feels that anything resembling his father or anything that his father enjoyed was...

Find Another Essay On Okonkwo, Things Fall Apart

The Development of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart

729 words - 3 pages warrior. He was well known and respected by neighboring villages. This man, Okonkwo, worked hard at his goal, and he achieved it. Okonkwo, a man with great strength and personality, had achieved his goal to become rich and famous, a privilege that was unseen before in his family. Although Okonkwo reached his goal at an early age, his life began to fall apart when tragic episodes took place. Okonkwo was a tragic hero in the sense he was blamed or

Okonkwo: the Noble Savage in Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"

1762 words - 7 pages In Achebe's Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo functions as the protagonist of the novel. He is the first to be referred to in the novel and the last. He is portrayed by Achebe as a tragic hero in the classical sense. Apart from all his virtues, Okonkwo's few but hideous weaknesses lead to his drastic tragic end. His rise and fall is described in a culture that is bound by traditions and superstition.Achebe succeeds to convey Okonkwo's heroic figure to

Things Fall Apart: Okonkwo in the Male Dominant Igbo Society

1434 words - 6 pages The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa, they emphasize on personal achievements, and taking titles which means leadership and respect (Ohadike Don C., p. xxvi-xxvii). In the book Things Fall Apart, the main character, Okonkwo is affected by the influences of the Igbo society and vows to become a man of the highest title and to gain respect from all the lands. Okonkwo and his family live in male dominant society where men

The Values and Beliefs of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart

1024 words - 4 pages The Values and Beliefs of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart Things Fall Apart is a novel, which is directly focused on the tribes and the local life of the native people. The protagonist in this novel is a proud strict and tough man with the name of Okonkwo. Okonkwo was born in the mid-nineteenth century, in the Igbo village of Umuofia, (which we now know as southeastern Nigeria). Okonkwo's life was "dominated by fear, the

Things Fall Apart, Achebe: Significance of title, events led up to Okonkwo falling apart

515 words - 3 pages Things Fall ApartWhat does the title means? Things Fall Apart is a tragic novel which is set in the Igbo community of Africa. Chinua Achebe, who is the author of this novel, portrays how an ambitious, well known, and respected African, Okonkwo, life falls apart. He was a man with great intensity and personality. He had accomplished his goal to become rich and famous, an advantage that was unseen before in his family. Okonkwo's life

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

1597 words - 6 pages In the essay “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, there are five meaningful quotes that revolve around Okonkwo’s 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

Okonkwo as Classic Greek Hero in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1785 words - 7 pages Okonkwo as Classic Greek Hero in Things Fall Apart       A sense of foreboding envelops us from the first. We sense all will not end well for Umuofia. The chill of fear grips us as the world of Okonkwo and his clan truly falls apart. Okonkwo will need all of his power to fight the forces against his world, but tragically he is crippled by the most destructive malady of all, fear of himself. Achebe employs the form of classical Greek

Compare and contrast Okonkwo and Unoka (Things fall apart - Chinua Achebe)

2035 words - 8 pages Things fall apart, written by Chinua Achebe, has a proverb like this: “When the mother-cow is chewing grass its young ones watch its mouth.” The proverb shows that a child will have his behavior like his parents. However, when the child does not respect the parents, he will rebel and do everything opposite to his parents. For instance in this same novel, Okonkwo has showed no respect for his father, Unoka, who is a failure. Hence, he

Essay on Okonkwo and Nwoye in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1465 words - 6 pages Understanding Okonkwo and Nwoye in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart   Two passages from the story Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, provide the reader with a more profound understanding of Okonkwo, and his son Nwoye.  The two do not have a good relationship and it becomes worse as the story progresses.   Throughout the book the two become increasingly distant and it is apparent that Okonkwo is very disappointed in his son.  After the death

The Inflexibility and Hubris of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

951 words - 4 pages The Inflexibility and Hubris of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart This novel is the definitive tragic model about the dissolution of the African Ibo culture by Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe. Okonkwo, a great and heroic leader, is doomed by his inflexibility and hubris. He is driven by fear of failure. He had no patience with unsuccessful men. He had no patience with his father. Unoka, for that was his father's name, had

Okonkwo as a Tragic Hero in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

930 words - 4 pages In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Okonkwo is an example of a tragic hero. Okonkwo accomplishes and succeeds in many noble and brave tasks but also has some flaws that lead to his downfall. The definition of a tragic hero according to dictionary.com is: a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat. In the Novel, Thngs Fall Apart Okonkwo is a tragic hero in the fact that

Similar Essays

Okonkwo In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

963 words - 4 pages Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart    Okonkwo, as presented by Chinua Achebe in the novel Things Fall Apart, wished to be revered by all as a man of great wealth, power and control--the antithesis of his father. Okonkwo was driven by the need to exhibit utmost control over himself and others; he was an obsessive and insecure man. Okonkwo's father, Unoka, was "a failure," "a loafer," and "People laughed at him" (1426). This

Okonkwo As Epic Hero In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

994 words - 4 pages Okonkwo as Epic Hero in Things Fall Apart       Achebe’s work, Things Fall Apart, is an epic; it resembles stories about heroes found in many cultures. In these stories, the heroes are extraordinary individuals, whose careers and destinies are not theirs alone, but are bound with the fortunes and destinies of their society. They become heroes by accomplishing great things for themselves and their communities, winning much fame as a result

The Character Of Okonkwo In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1942 words - 8 pages The Character of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart What makes a successful man? This, in itself, is a culture bound question because it can vary from culture to culture. However, in the perception of Okonkwo, the main character in Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart, the measure of a man's success is based on two elements, material acquisition and growth, and physical prowess. This is ironic for Okonkwo since

Masculinity In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Okonkwo

2292 words - 9 pages Things Fall Apart: Okonkwo’s Masculinity The Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a straight to the point story, embedded with interesting elements that capture readers’ attention. In my view, when I read the story, I found many interesting things about the theme of the book. But The Masculinity Okonkwo was what captures my attention. The story opens up to a Traditional Igbo lifestyle, a theme which is highly stylized from its ritual to the
Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist English Subbed | Baixar toque para celular | Sergeant Tabloid