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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 and committed suicide after things in his
life wasn going all right. Okonkwo was a farmer and he was well know throughout the nine
villages and even beyond. He was tall and huge, and his bushy eyebrows and wide nose gave
him a very severe look.
His father was Unoka and he lived in his fatherland. In his youth days he was known as the
greatest wrestlers among the clans. Due to his popularity he married his second wife Ekwefi
because she admired that he was a good wrestlers. Okonkwo had three wifes called Ekwefi,
Ojiugo and Nwoje mother. His favorite son was Nwoje and his favorite daughter was Ezinma.
He wanted Nwoje to turn out just like him and he thought his son how to work the land and
how to grow yams. His favorite daughter Enzima was the only surviving child of Ekwefi.
Enzima is the only child of him that understands him and she reminds him of his beautiful wife
Ekwefi. He has dreams that one day a nice young man will marry his beautiful daughter
Enzima Later on in the story we hear about a boy called Ikemefuna. Ikemefuna was a boy
given to Okonkwo and the boy grew close to Okonkwo. In three years the boy called Okonkwo
father and Okonkwo grew closed to the boy and he told him stories. Okonkwo became had
broken after the oracle ordered the killing of Ikemefuna and because of the result he did not
eat anything for three days.
His wonderful daughter Enzima encourages him to eat and after a while he did. During the
Week of Peace Okonkwo beats his wife Ojiugo and he gets in trouble from the clan. During the
Week of Peace you are not to do anything violent. Although Okonkwo was well known
throughout the tribes he also showed characteristics of being violent. He would beat his
children often and threatened to kill his son later on in the story when he turns a Christian.
Okonkwo life starts to falls apart when he was thrown out of the clan for seven years.
He was thrown out of the clan because he accidentally killed a seventeen-year-old teen by
accident during a weeding ceremony. After being kick out of his father clan and the place
where he build his image and his wealth he went to live in his motherland. This incident
decreased the chance of Okonkwo dreams of being very rich and popular. In his motherland
he would have to start all over again and his family started to lose faith in him. In his
motherland, he was crushed when his son Nwoje turn to a Christian because he always
wanted to rebel against the Christian missionaries.
Okonkwo was a strong believer in his tradition and he upheld the work the Christian were
preaching. He saw that the white people were killing the Igbo tradition slowly and he wanted
people of the village to revolt against them. He was ashamed how his people gave them land
to build their churches. After his seven-years he returns to his fatherland Umoufia and is very
angry to see the Christian missionaries were there too. He was shocked by how the white
people was running the clan and how the white men built courthouses and jails, and tried the
Umoufians for crimes.
In the end Okonkwo kills a white messenger because he was angry how the white men tried to
break up clan meetings. He draws his machete and with two quick swings of it, a white-man
messenger lay dead on the ground, his head cut clean off. The next morning, Okonkwo is
found dead by his own hand. He had deep beliefs in his religion, as well as respect for the
white man, but he knew they had now gone over the boundary lines. He didn like what was
happening to his people and he decided life was not worth living anymore.

Okonko character Anylisis

In the novel Things Fall Apart, strength and pride are very important aspects of the main
character, Okonkwo, owever, these traits may sound like excellent traits to possess but
because of the way he was raised, Okonkwo harbours many of his emotions under an outer
shell of violence, strength and pride.
His traits can be shown by looking at where he has come from in his life, for example,
Okonkwo has acquired a large amount of wealth in his life because of his hard work and
dedication which he also puts towards his family, unfortunately, his family also suffers
greatly because of this due to Okonkwo’s high expectations of his children and his violent
ways when they do not live up to them. Secondly, Okonkwo possesses hidden emotions
that are similar to his father’s but he lives in denial that he is anything like his father but
he is more like him than he thinks.
Lastly, Okonkwo is driven by what his father is not because Okonkwo doesn’t want to be
anything like his father which causes him to make rash decisions occasionally that could
make him carelessly become violent. Okonkwo has been through very many hardships in
his life including being treated poorly by his father who he views as an anti-role model in a
way which has heavily influenced the way he is now and how he treats himself and his
tribe mates.
Firstly, his constant desire to be as distant from his father as possible has created the fear
of being like him or polluting his life with laziness and irresponsibility which lets him focus
his time on his tribe mates and family. Secondly, Okonkwo has identified the way his
father raised him and he is constantly trying to raise his family differently but occasionally
lets fear get the best of him and he starts to act violent.
Lastly, Okonkwo’s decision to take in Ikemefuna and keep him in his family shows how he is
accepting of others and is willing to accept another child, something his father probably would
not have done. Okonkwo’s father clearly had a strong influence on his life and the decisions
Okonkwo makes show his differences from his father. Okonkwo’s harbouring of his sentimental
emotions is a crucial part of his personality which makes him the way he is, for example,
Okonkwo hates music ecause of the emotion that is required to create it, he rejects the idea of
meaningful conversation because he considers it to be soft, and as he ages, he is rejecting the
increasingly obvious fact that violence does not constitute inner strength. Firstly, it is revealed in
the novel that Okonkwo does not like music and that he is bad at playing it which shows that he
lacks the ability to express his emotions through listening to or creating music.
Furthermore, Okonkwo’s ideals of not liking conversation and considering them weak goes
against the mentality of his village which believes that “conversation is regarded very highly,
and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten. ” Lastly, as Okonkwo gets older, he is
slowly realising that his violent ways are not truly making him a strong person but are in fact,
slowly destroying him but Okonkwo refuses to accept this and continues with his violent
Okonkwo has trouble revealing his true emotions ad even though they are present, he would
never express them to anyone. Okonkwo may try to act “manly” and strong when in the
presence of others, but Okonkwo does possess sentimental emotions that he claims to view as
weak which make up an important part of him. Firstly, when Okonkwo is told that Ezinma is
dying, he becomes worried and afraid of her dying and he evens begins to search for medicines in
order to help her get better and defies the gods by following Chielo to the cave of the oracle to
be sure that his daughter will be ok.
Also around this time in the book, Okonkwo goes to Ekwefi and sits with her while Ezinma is
taken into the cave of the oracle which shows that he cares about his wife’s feelings despite his
general bitterness towards his wives. Lastly, Okonkwo’s feelings of sadness and grief when
Ikemefuna dies shows that he is capable of sadness and love of his children, even ones who
aren’t directly his. Okonkwo’s manly exterior does not reflect his interior emotions and the
troubles he has experienced in his life definitely impact this.
Okonkwo is a very complex character that has xperienced many hardships in his life which have
made him a very bitter person on the outside but still a kind hearted person on the inside.
Okonkwo knows what is right and looks out for the people he cares about, however, his
upbringing, his “strong” mentality, and his views on life have all distorted his personality to be
much colder than how he truly is.

*Down fall of okonkwo

In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo has always feared the fate that plagued his
father. Luckily for Okonkwo, he has the determination and will to overcome the foreseeable
future that his father has laid before him. This novel tells the story of a character that is
intertwined with intrinsic uncertainties which ultimately leads to the downfall of a once beloved
Okonkwo has asserted himself in the Umuofia society making him a highly respected figure at a
young age. Okonkwo is described as a strong and powerful man whose success is purely
independent and on his own merit. Achebe writes, And so although Okonkwo was still young, he
was already one of the greatest men of his time. Age was respected among his people, but
achievement was revered Because of his hard work and dedication to helping his tribe prosper,
the elders of the society hold him in high regard.
The achievement that Achebe refers to is mostly attributed to his overtaking of the great fighter,
Amalinze the cat. When Okonkwo was only eighteen he took down the champion wrestler, which
immediately declared his dominance with the other tribe members. Although Okonkwo
outwardly strong appearance, he struggles with the fact that his father was an improvident
beggar. He categorizes his father as feminine, which in a patriarchal society is demoralizing?
This explains how Okonkwo psyche and state of mind drives him to overcome his father
reputation and start a new one of his own. Okonkwo desire of wanting to squash his father
incompetence can be seen as a positive or a negative, while it is the main reason for his
successes, it also could be blamed for pushing him over the edge of sanity. At the climax of the
novel, Okonkwo fate seems to take a turn for the worse. First off his anger has been building up
and one-day Okonkwo wife decides to braids her hair instead of cooking diner.
This enrages Okonkwo because to him this is an example of his wife Ojiugo, putting her own
desires before the mandatory tasks of being a wife and preparing dinner. This occurs one night
during the Umuofia clan peace week. That night Okonkwo violates peace week and beats Ojiugo.
This is a punishable crime and Okonkwo is sentenced to make a ritual sacrifice. However after he
commits this offense Okonkwo future suddenly changes from a guaranteed success to an
uncertainty in the balance.

At Ezeudu funeral Okonkwo participates in a gun salute. However Okonkwo gun goes off and
unexpectedly and punctures Ezeudu son heart and kills him. Achebe writes, Violent deaths were
frequent but nothing like this had ever occurred. With such an unlucky and unfortunate
occurrence it is obvious that Okonkwo good furtune has run out. Achebe is right; this is a violent
act, pertaining both to the boy and to Okonkwo. As it indeed ends the boy life, it also ends the
life for Okonkwo as he knows it.
He is sentenced to seven years banishment from Umuofia, and will have to restart his life in a
new place and try to resurrect the respectable name that he once had. Okonkwo is a man of
action but also an avid up keeper of the Igbo culture?. Okonkwo spends his seven-year exile in his
mother tribe of Mbanta. Upon return back to his old clan of Umuofia, Okonkwo realizes that the
whole society has changed and the tribe has been overtaken by missionaries from Europe,
converting the people of Umuofia to Christiantity.
At first it seems that Okonkwo is at his most passive state, as he is unable to stop the
missionaries. However, not long after Okonkwo has seen enough and his aggression begins to
control him again. Okonkwo decides to retaliate against the church and kills one the Christian
missionaries. Okonkwo matchet descended twice and the man head lay beside his uniformed
bodyThis is essentially Okonkwo last straw. There is no return for him now. He has been
suffocated and killed by his destiny, too much has gone wrong and during his return to Umuofia
he finds himself unnecessary and outdated.
Overall Okonkwo had the determination to overcome his pre-determined destiny, but in the end
he could not escape his fathers deathly fate. Okonkwo ends up dying similarly to his father. Both
he and his father die in disrespectful fashion to the earth. Okonkwo commits the most mortal sin
of Umuofia culture and takes his own life. The downfall of Okonkwo was unavoidable from the
beginning. This shows how even the strongest outward appearances can be used to cover up
internal flaws.
**Colonization in Africa in Things fall apart and heart of darkness novels
In “Things Fall Apart” Achebe describes tribal life in Africa and speaks how arrival of white man
has changed lifestyle, culture, and gender roles in Igbo community. In “Heart of Darkness”
Conrad describes oppressive treatment of Africans during colonization pointing out a number of
cases when white men were motivated primarily by greed and selfishness.
Both stories share the theme of African colonization, and Conrad and Achene illustrate how
colonization affects African life, how culture, religion, gender roles change. Despite authors agree
that African colonization threatens indigenous tribes, they represent different effects of
In “Heart of Darkness” Conrad discuses oppressive treatment of colonized Africans showing they
have few chances to escape from discrimination and suppression, whereas in “Things Fall Apart”
Achebe shows that African colonization gives women certain freedom threatening patriarchal
In “Things Fall Apart” Achebe shows that before the arrival of the white man gender roles were
standardized. Women were provided with certain responsibilities, but the world was patriarchal,
oppressive and hierarchical. Life in community was andocentric meaning women were treated as
nothing important.
They were considered a part of men’s acquisitions. As wives, they “come in multiple numbers,
sandwiched between yam barns and titles. These three – wives, yam barns, social titles – are the
highest accolades for the successful farmer, warrior, and man of worth”. (Achebe, 23)
Nevertheless, colonization brings changes in culture and women suddenly find themselves
important agents of social exchange.
They realize they play important role in trade in the market and in production of crops. Women
begin to communicate directly with foreigners due to their position in the enterprise of trading.
Women’s selling success increases and, in such a way, women challenge traditional decision-
making power in Igbo society.
Further, Achebe shows that colonization negatively affects men as patriarchal standards are
challenging by strengthened role of women. For example, Okonkwo, main character, reflects that
white man “has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart”. (p.124
In contrast to “Things Falls Apart”, Conrad shows in “Heart of Darkness” that colonization of
Africa brings oppression and discrimination of women who are considered of secondary
importance. Conrad shows that colonization strengthens patriarchal society and women have no
chances to escape from brutality of oppression and discrimination.
Moreover, women are identified through the viewpoints of men. Thus, Conrad shows that
colonizers are ready to do whatever it takes for their own personal benefits. Marlow, the main
character, argues that women are extremely limited and they are associated with darkness,
violence and brutality.
Women roles are divided into the mother, the whore and the dutiful virgin. For example,
Marlow’s mistress is described as “savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was
something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress”. (Conrad, 101)
In contrast to “Things Fall Apart”, where men are still in dominant positions despite certain
freedom of women, Conrad illustrates that African men are oppressed; they are enslaved to
serve the white men. Colonizers exploit human labor forcing Africans to work for a minimum
payment. Despite the spirit of bitterness is generated in the people, they realize little can be
done to fight oppression.
Things Fall Apart” and “Heart of Darkness” represent different effects of African colonization, but
they show that colonization brings significant changes to culture, religion and, what is more
important, to gender roles. In “Things Fall Apart”, women are growing of power, their status in
trade has increased, gender relations are changing, and patriarchal society is loosing its initial
In contrast, in “Heart of Darkness”, colonization strengthens women oppression and
subordination; women are easily controlled and dominated by men. Moreover, African men are
oppressed as well. White imperialism brings imperialism and slavery into the continent.