• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Man Behind the Mask (Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Michela Iriti October, 11th 2004 English 10x The Man Behind the Mask The aspects of similarity and difference to today's world, in the novel Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, are fascinating to observe; the cultural beliefs and pressures of a society are very much like today's media's effect on many teenagers and young girls. The story is a journey through the life of a man whose influential past causes him to struggle in building his own future. Okonkwo's father affects his current life and causes him to struggle with certain issues in many ways, for instance Okonkwo tries to be the exact opposite of his father, personality wise and Okonkwo's main solution to this is violence, mostly towards his family. However, Okonkwo's culture helps shape his personality as well. Yet the ending to his life is not as fulfilling as he had hoped for. Achebe's message or lesson is for every person to create their own future and not let past experiences hold them down. ...read more.

Middle

As an attempt to detach himself from his father's name. "Okonkwo never [shows] any emotion openly, unless it [is] the emotion of anger." (28) This anger gets taken out on Okonkwo's wives and children in the form of violence. Okonkwo associates women with weakness. He observed as a child how light his father was with crucial issues involving his mother and sisters. Therefor Okonkwo's wives' rather small mistakes come with heavy consequences, he physically abuses them. After one of his wives makes the small mistake of coming home late one day "He [presses] the trigger-he [throws] down the gun and [jumps] into the barn, and there lay the woman very much shaken but quiet unhurt" (39) Going as far as trying to kill his wife makes it clear to see that he lets his violence and rage squelch over his loving emotions. Not only is Okonkwo's physical aggression reflected on his wives but also on his children, innocent as can be, " Without further argument Okonkwo gave her a sound beating and left her and her only daughter weeping" ( 38) ...read more.

Conclusion

Not only does he die with no positive recognition, he leaves his family alone much like Okonkwo's father left him. Also, when the missionaries hold Okonkwo captive, they beat and torture him, he is at complete mercy of others; this going forcefully against everything he stands for. This loss of control infuriates him more than the actual abuse. The village people "[notice] the long stripes ok Okonwko's back where the warden's whip [has] cut into his flesh." (199) this was a major sign of defeat. His main hamartia is his strong impulsive need to be the ideal man; unemotional, impressively physically powerful, with a strong pride and high title. Even though Okonkwo dies a dishonorable death, he leaves many of the town's members with optimism of what can be done when people join together as a community. "It [warms] Okonkwo's heart to see such strength of numbers." (201) He has faith in this concept. A lesson which can be taken away from the story is the importance of individuality and not giving into stereotypes or generalizations which only tear communities apart. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Comparing poems section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Comparing poems essays

  1. How the relationships between men and women are represented in english

    During the poem she talks about how much she loves him and nothing can get in the way. "How do I love you" is made more convincing because it includes a lot of persuasive techniques. "I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise".

  2. Discuss Merle Hodge'S Crick Crack Monkey As a Novel

    and later on when she goes there again she is in a way crippled by her education and through her indoctrination of the standards of the European culture. The first time she had Tantie's culture fully present in her, she had all her Caribbeaness in her and had not been

  1. Examine the way in which Culture affects the relationships of the main characters in ...

    When their relationship becomes sexual they stop talking to each other and he would tell her where that will meet next to have sex. Here we see that Paulus is dominant over Thebedi because he orders her where they would meet next.

  2. What can you learn about teenage fashion from source one?

    cinema), so that the teenager could have somewhere to go and be with others in their position and socialise. Source one is not the most helpful source that we are given as it is only one persons opinion of the 1950s.

  1. Discuss how the settings in 'The man with the twisted lip' by Sir Arthur ...

    The setting is one that the audience of that time would be familiar with It is set at the time it was written meaning that they can really believe it and see it could happen. The Victorian age was one of destitution, poverty and mainly social division.

  2. Cultural Appropriation and Its Affects On Other Cultures.

    the problem may not lie within the fact that majority cultures are being imposed on the minorities. In fact this appropriation may be reinforcing the culture through the style in which it was appropriated. Canada's First Nation peoples, among other aboriginal nations, are becoming in danger of assimilation.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work