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Achebe Essay

927 words - 4 pages

In the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, change is a common key word used throughout the story. However, the meaning of this word to the characters in the story is looked upon as unusual. Okonkwo, being a highly viewed person in the community of Umofia, is resistant to change, knowing that change brings new modifications to the life of the community as well as his life. This resistance that is built up in him starts to modify his actions and thoughts, turning his character from a stern, serious role to a villainous character. When readers go farther into the story, they may only see that Okonkwo is this serious character, but there is something concealed in his façade. Behind this ...view middle of the document...

What runs through Okonkwo’s mind is about how at Nwoye’s age he was very successful, but wonders how he has “begotten a son like Nwoye, degenerate and effeminate” (153). Due to his success in the past, Okonkwo does not want change to ruin his role as a leader ing the community. However, since his son is now becoming involved and supporting the change that is brought to Umofia, Okonkwo is now feeling even more threatened by the thought that he might not be looked up to in the community as he is currently.
Some who read this book may say that Okonkwo is not characterized as a villain towards the end of the story, but more of a leader. Although this may be a true statement that can be proven with further information, Okonkwo is strongly viewed as a violent character. Towards the end of the story, change by the missionaries reveal Okonkwo’s stance in the community, a position he was fearful of. Due to the increasing amount of people in Umofia being converted by the missionaries, many in the community start to view this situation differently. However, Okonkwo stands by his resistance to the “threat” of conversion, thinking it might bring the feared change he does not want. But his stance is revealed after the altercation with the missionaries trying to stop the gathering for war. Once he drew his machete and killed one of the missionaries, the people reacted differently than he imagined. “They has broken into a tumult instead of action”, which caused Okonkwo to fear that what he done is something very wrong in the eyes of the community. (205) Along with the numerous voices asking, “Why did...

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