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Things Fall Apart - Okonkwo's life is dominated by a rigid view of honour; what are the values and beliefs he follows? How do these ideas influence his behaviour and how do they ultimately destroy him?

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Introduction

Okonkwo's life is dominated by a rigid view of honour; what are the values and beliefs he follows? How do these ideas influence his behaviour and how do they ultimately destroy him? 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 fear of failure and of weakness". His father was a man who had no titles and was called a woman. One main thing we learn in this novel is that these tribes hold great respect for men who had a title. One man who didn't have any titles and was referred to, as a woman was Okonkwos father. We are informed of Oknokwos character with the following words "He had a slight stammer and whenever he was angry and could not get his words out quickly enough, he would use his fists. ...read more.

Middle

This great fear of weakness in Okonkwo is actually so great to an extent that at times he is portrayed to see him as a cold hearted man with no feelings whatsoever. This begins when we see him smack his wife and most importantly when he finishes off killing Imkemfuna. Imfemfuna lived with him for around three years and was becoming like a son to him. At this point we come to an important quote in the novel" and so Okonkwo was ruled by one passion- to hate everything that his father Unoka had loved. One of those things was gentleness and another was idleness." Okonkwo's fright of showing anything to be as a sign of weakness. After the death of Imkemfuna we realise that behind this mask of bravery there is an actual human heart inside which is contradicting what was stated earlier. Although we see he has a heart he still doesn't show much emotion. Another important point, which needs to be mentioned, is the difference between the male and female roles in the village. ...read more.

Conclusion

His return to the clan was pretty normal and the way he was greeted was the way he expected his return to be. As stated earlier Okonkwo took everything to an extreme, but to come back and see what had happened to the clan was a great shock to him. During his time in exile he had heard of the missionaries come into his village but he had never expected it to be that bad. In other words unlike the other people who had remained in the clan he never had the process of adjusting and accepting what had happened to his clan. The fury burning inside Oknkwo was increasing as they are deceived and captured. During the imprisonment he is said to have been" chocked with hate." This is understandable considering "he was a man of action a man of war. Okonkwo was so proud to an extent that he takes his own sorrow to die in dignity. The cause of his death was sorrow. The pain of coming back to a clan and realising that most of the men in there were no longer real men was too much that Okonkwo couldn't handle. 1 ...read more.

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