Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart describes the flaws and struggles of one proud man's tragic life. The main character Okonkwo is a strong and proud warrior with great reputation in the village of Umofia. However, he is a man that struggles with the fear of failure and uncontrollable anger. Okonkwo's motivations, ways of acting and behavior in crisis prevent him from achieving what he wants, leading to his self-destruction.
Okonkwo is motivated for his desire of wealth and recognition. The wealth of a man in Umofia is measure by yams, size of the farm and number of wives. Okonkwo did not inherit any land or yams to start building up a farm. Okonkwo needs so bad yams to sow and start building his own farm that he humbles himself and asks for help to a wealthy man in the village. Okonkwo's reputation in Umofia is very good, the villagers think of him as a self-made man, hard working and fiery warrior; for him is not difficult to borrow yams to plant, his fellow villagers trust him. He plants the yams and works his land relentlessly. Although he encounters hurdles like bad weather, he became a very successful and prosper farmer. In addition to wealth, he wants to overcame his father's failures and achieve great prosperity and even greater reputation among the people of Umofia. Therefore, his desire for titles and respect makes him one outspoken leader of the village taking responsibilities in name if Umofia, such as carrying messages of war. Okonkwo was well known throughout the villages. His fame rested on personal achievements, he gained fame as the greatest wrestler when he was young, twenty years earlier.
Okonkwo's habitual ways of acting is dominated by violence and anger. He rules his compound with heavy hand; his wives and children feared his fiery temper. Most villagers have great respect for him, but they are annoyed by his brusqueness in dealing with less successful people. His suppressed uncontrollable anger most often finds outlets; it is very common for him to beat heavily his wives for any motive. For instance, during the week of peace, his youngest wife, who did not cook the afternoon meal on time, provoked Okonkwo's justifiable anger. He beats her very heavily; in his anger, he had forgotten that it was the sacred week. As a result, Okonkwo is punished, as is the custom by Ezeani, the priest of the earth goddess. People in the village said his good fortune had gone to his head and he had no respect for the gods of the clan. His lack of patience toward his son Nwoye made their relationship based on fear instead of love and respect. Okonkwo wants his son to be a successful farmer and a great man, therefore he encourages him by telling masculine stories and by letting him know that was right to be masculine and to be violent. However, Nwoye...