The faults of the character of okonkwo in things fall apart a novel by chinua achebe

Okonkwo is a respected and influential leader within the Igbo community of Umuofia in eastern Nigeria. He first earns personal fame and distinction, and brings honor to his village, when he defeats Amalinze the Cat in a wrestling contest. Okonkwo determines to gain titles for himself and become a powerful and wealthy man in spite of his father's weaknesses.

The faults of the character of okonkwo in things fall apart a novel by chinua achebe

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Struggle Between Change and Tradition As a story about a culture on the verge of change, Things Fall Apart deals with how the prospect and reality of change affect various characters.

The tension about whether change should be privileged over tradition often involves questions of personal status. Okonkwo, for example, resists the new political and religious orders because he feels that they are not manly and that he himself will not be manly if he consents to join or even tolerate them.

His sense of self-worth is dependent upon the traditional standards by which society judges him. Long scorned, these outcasts find in the Christian value system a refuge from the Igbo cultural values that place them below everyone else.

In their new community, these converts enjoy a more elevated status. The villagers in general are caught between resisting and embracing change and they face the dilemma of trying to determine how best to adapt to the reality of change. Many of the villagers are excited about the new opportunities and techniques that the missionaries bring.

This European influence, however, threatens to extinguish the need for the mastery of traditional methods of farming, harvesting, building, and cooking.

SparkNotes: Things Fall Apart: Symbols

These traditional methods, once crucial for survival, are now, to varying degrees, dispensable. Throughout the novel, Achebe shows how dependent such traditions are upon storytelling and language and thus how quickly the abandonment of the Igbo language for English could lead to the eradication of these traditions.

He associates masculinity with aggression and feels that anger is the only emotion that he should display. For this reason, he frequently beats his wives, even threatening to kill them from time to time.

We are told that he does not think about things, and we see him act rashly and impetuously. Yet others who are in no way effeminate do not behave in this way.

Okonkwo’s Downfall in: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

While in exile, he lives among the kinsmen of his motherland but resents the period in its entirety. The exile is his opportunity to get in touch with his feminine side and to acknowledge his maternal ancestors, but he keeps reminding himself that his maternal kinsmen are not as warlike and fierce as he remembers the villagers of Umuofia to be.

He faults them for their preference of negotiation, compliance, and avoidance over anger and bloodshed. In demonstrating the imaginative, often formal language of the Igbo, Achebe emphasizes that Africa is not the silent or incomprehensible continent that books such as Heart of Darkness made it out to be.

Rather, by peppering the novel with Igbo words, Achebe shows that the Igbo language is too complex for direct translation into English. Similarly, Igbo culture cannot be understood within the framework of European colonialist values.

The faults of the character of okonkwo in things fall apart a novel by chinua achebe

Achebe also points out that Africa has many different languages: On a macroscopic level, it is extremely significant that Achebe chose to write Things Fall Apart in English—he clearly intended it to be read by the West at least as much, if not more, than by his fellow Nigerians.

His goal was to critique and emend the portrait of Africa that was painted by so many writers of the colonial period. Doing so required the use of English, the language of those colonial writers.

At a Glance

Through his inclusion of proverbs, folktales, and songs translated from the Igbo language, Achebe managed to capture and convey the rhythms, structures, cadences, and beauty of the Igbo language.Things Fall Apart: A Critical Analysis Things Fall Apart () is a fictional novel by Chinua Achebe that examines the life the Igbo tribe living in a rural village called Umuofia in .

Okonkwo is a self-made, well-respected member of the Umuofia clan. Though outwardly stern and powerful, much of his life is dictated by internal fear. His greatest, overwhelming worry is that he will become like his father – lazy, unable to support his family, and cowardly.

Okonkwo considers many of his father’s characteristics to be feminine. Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, is a tragic story about the rise and fall of Okonkwo.

The faults of the character of okonkwo in things fall apart a novel by chinua achebe

The story takes place in Umuofia, a cluster of villages in Niger during the ’s. the Umuofians are known for being a notorious war clan with many members, advanced social institutions, and phenomenal traditions.

In , the American hip-hop band The Roots released their fourth studio album Things Fall Apart as a tribute to Chinua Achebe's novel. In , a film adaptation of Things Fall Apart was made by a Nigerian production company with an all-Nigerian cast.

Pete Edochie starred as Okonkwo. Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is a classic novel about the clash between two cultures. The Igbo, a proud warrior race from what is now Nigeria, see their culture and way of life slowly.

Things Fall Apart is about the tragic fall of the protagonist, Okonkwo, and the Igbo culture. Okonkwo is a respected and influential leader within the Igbo community of Umuofia in eastern Nigeria. Okonkwo is a respected and influential leader within the Igbo community of Umuofia in eastern Nigeria.

SparkNotes: Things Fall Apart: Character List