This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Chinua Achebe's Novel Of Life In Colonial Era Nigeria, "Things Fall Apart".

964 words - 4 pages

Chinua Achebe's novel of life in colonial-era Nigeria, Things Fall Apart, contains the character Okonkwo as the protagonist. Okonkwo represents the idea of a successful person; an admired hero even. Characteristics such as bravery, strength, and a desire to succeed are what everyone admires about Okonkwo. His fear of becoming like his father gave him this desire to succeed, and consistently motivated him to progress through life. However, Okonkwo personifies the idea of not just a hero, but a tragic hero.Fear is Okonkwo's main motivation throughout the book. Achebe says, "He was possessed by the fear of his father's contemptible life and shameful death" (Things Fall Apart 18). He was motivated to work hard and succeed by this fear. Even as a young boy, Okonkwo began to work hard at farming as an attempt to become successful and earn respectability. Okonkwo says, "I began to fend for myself at an age when most people still suck at their mothers' breasts. If you give me some yam seeds I shall not fail you." (Things Fall Apart 21). Okonkwo's strong successful tone gives readers the idea that he began to work and persist at an early age. His persistence is exemplified by the fact that the first year of cultivation was ruined by early coming of rains. "[Okonkwo] is one of the best men of his time and place; he strives mightily and is destroyed by events beyond his control," says Dr. Diane Thompson (Thompson 25). However, Okonkwo's will allows him to survive the rains in his first year of cultivation and continue and succeed. Okonkwo is a man possessed with the endless will to succeed. Achebe wrote, "'Since I survived that year,' he always said, 'I shall survive anything.' He put it down to his inflexible will." (Things Fall Apart 24). The determination, persistence, and labor paid off for Okonkwo in the end, as his rewards became a barn full of yams, three wives and many children. All of Okonkwo's actions begin in fear of his not being like his father.Okonkwo's admirable and heroic qualities were not limited to only the strength of his will, but they also include the physical abilities and emotional strengths. The physical strength of Okonkwo is a reason for his success. Okonkwo was the best wrestler in the nine villages and never was beaten. Amalinze the Cat who, until the time of Okonkwo's victory, had never, in seven years, been beaten. "(Okonkwo) was tall and huge, and his bushy eyebrows and wide nose gave him a very severe look... When he walked, his heels hardly touched the ground and he seemed to walk on springs, as if he was going to pounce on somebody" (Things Fall Apart 3). Okonkwo would always use his fists to settle something, rather than try to utter words and settle something.Okonkwo's emotional strength is another quality which makes...

Find Another Essay On Chinua Achebe's novel of life in colonial-era Nigeria, "Things Fall Apart".

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay

1413 words - 6 pages Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart The last chapter of Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" concludes with the sentence: "He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger." This refers to the District Commissioner's chosen title for a book he has written that would have the African people, the Igbo tribe specifically, as the main subject. From the title itself

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay

1067 words - 5 pages elderly. Although the social structure played an essential role in balancing life in the society, it played a more significant role in the demise of the Igbo community. Because of their rigid structure, the people isolated the osu, or the outcasts, outside their society. Due to their actions, this led the osu to convert to the new religion. The Igbo people were not able to cooperate with the new religion that was imposed upon them and eventually led to the rise of disunity.   Works Cited Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. London: William Heinemann Limited, 1959. Print.

Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"

947 words - 4 pages INTRODUCTION:Chinua Achebe has penned the book "Things Fall Apart" as retaliation against the Western books portraying African cultures and tribal religions as brutal, savage and animalistic. He attempts to portray through his book that the people of the African Igbo tribe are not savages or mindless tribals, they are a people with a history and a culture and a well thought out way of life. He also tries to give a realistic portrayal of the Igbo

The Role of Women in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

3673 words - 15 pages More than those of any other African writer, Chinua Achebe’s writings have helped to develop what is known as African literature today. And the single book which has helped him to launch his "revolution" is the classic, Things Fall Apart.  The focus of this essay includes: 1) Achebe's portraiture of women in his fictional universe, the existing sociocultural situation of the period he is depicting, and the factors in it that condition male

The Character of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1942 words - 8 pages The Character of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart What makes a successful man? This, in itself, is a culture bound question because it can vary from culture to culture. However, in the perception of Okonkwo, the main character in Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart, the measure of a man's success is based on two elements, material acquisition and growth, and physical prowess. This is ironic for Okonkwo since

Achebe's novel "Things fall apart"

650 words - 3 pages There are few things more dreadful than dealing with a man who knows he is going under, in his own eyes, and in the eyes of others. Nothing can help that man. What is left of that man flees from what is left of human attention."-James Baldwin. Respond to this quote in relation to Achebe's novel, Things Fall apart.The quote by James Baldwin can be applied to Achebe's novel, Things fall apart, by understanding that the reference to man in the

Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" A discussion of Achebe's portrayal of women in Igbo society

1177 words - 5 pages Chinua Achebe's first novel Things Fall Apart is a story about an Igbo village in the late 1800's, and is one of its important men, Okonkwo. The story analyzes the destruction of African culture when the white man appeared. Achebe writes in a style that is interpretive instead of objective, and reflects the sociocultural organization existing in Africa during that era. Achebe highlights the roles of women in pre-colonial Africa. The female

Chinua Achebe's tragic work "Things Fall Apart"

1189 words - 5 pages respect, must be "removed from the pale normalcy" (Mezu par. 15). While there is a large amount of respect for Chielo, she still is a unique circumstance with regards to the whole tribe.Both Things Fall Apart as well as "Women in Achebe's World" examine the intricate social roles of Igbo culture. Although Achebe offers no sympathy for the female populous in the novel, Mezu tries to portray the multifaceted function of women in African culture. This

Okonkwo as Epic Hero in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

994 words - 4 pages Press, 1990. Nnolim, Charles E. "Achebe's Things Fall Apart: An Igbo National Epic" Modern Black Literature. ed. Okechukwu Mezu New York: Black Academy Press, 1971, 55-60. Obiechina, Emmanuel. "Narrative Proverbs in the African Novel," Research in African Literatures, 24, 4 (1993), 123-140. Okafor, Chinyere Grace. "From the Heart of Masculinity: Ogbodo-Uke Women's Masking." Research in African Literatures, 25, 3 (1994), 7-17. Traore, Ousseynou. "Matrical Approach to Things Fall Apart; A Poetics of Epic and Mythic Paradigms." Approaches to Teaching Achebe's Things Fall Apart. ed. Bernth Lindfors. New York: MLA, 1991, 65-73.

Fate and Free Will in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1345 words - 5 pages Fate and Free Will in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart     The tragic story of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart offers many examples of Igbo beliefs regarding free will and fate. Religious life for the Igbo was thoroughly intertwined with secular life. According to the text, the Igbo believed in fate; that nothing happened by chance as every happenstance was the result of Chukwu or God's will. Yet the Igbo also believed

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart: Inevitable Suffering in Tragedies

639 words - 3 pages that Okonkwo brings upon his clansmen in Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole by emphasizing how much control man has over his own suffering, especially when he is an instrument that brings pain upon others as well.Early on in the novel readers are introduced to Okonkwo's hamartia: the fear of appearing weak. This affects his temperament and the relationship he chooses to have with his

Similar Essays

Analysis Of Achebe's Impartiality In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1116 words - 4 pages educationally has the means to convey a different perspective, an advantage most other individuals of his culture lack.  In his novel Things Fall Apart, rather than glorifying the Ibo culture, or even offering a new view, Achebe acts as a pipeline for information to flow freely without partiality.  Achebe's parents were among the first converts of the Igbo, which has exposed him to both the Igbo African culture and western Christian ideology, and

Existentialism In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1779 words - 7 pages Existentialism in Things Fall Apart          Chinua Achebe presents his audience with an interesting twist to a contemporary school of thought in his work Things Fall Apart.  This post-colonization narrative incorporates several traits that revolt against normative philosophic systems and tralititious theories and beliefs of the existence of man and his place in the universe.  Achebe's efforts are characterized by a small diverse

Okonkwo In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

963 words - 4 pages Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart    Okonkwo, as presented by Chinua Achebe in the novel Things Fall Apart, wished to be revered by all as a man of great wealth, power and control--the antithesis of his father. Okonkwo was driven by the need to exhibit utmost control over himself and others; he was an obsessive and insecure man. Okonkwo's father, Unoka, was "a failure," "a loafer," and "People laughed at him" (1426). This

Gender In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1920 words - 8 pages as all life is by a web of contradictions within which each individual destiny, male and female, is enmeshed. The narrow range of physical setting in the novel serves to highlight and reflect the tribes limited awareness of its location in space, of it’s specific place in the world. Achebe is attempting to permit an African society to give expression to itself in terms of its own cultural experience. Of course Things Fall Apart warrants a