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

Chinua Achebe Essay

1545 words - 7 pages

The novel "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe is centered around Okonkwo, who sets out a quest of self-perfection and indeed succeeds in doing so. His hyperbolic interpretation of manliness leads him into climbing the ladder of success; admired and respected by his clan. And so he soon becomes too deep in his ideology of masculinity which later causes his own tragic demise.
The focus of this essay is to discuss the contribution of the various settings in the development of Okonkwo and its relevance in today's society. This novel is partitioned into three main parts which deal with three remarkably different settings. These are Umofia, Mbanta and the Umofia in change respectively.
...view middle of the document...

Similarly, he killed Ikemefuna on account of avoiding himself of being thought weak. In this incident, the audience are depicted with Okonkwo's decision of not showing any affection because he is regarding doing so as a sign of weakness; a quality that he refuses to tolerate in himself.
To further concrete the fact that he is very much afraid of weakness, Achebe emphasized on Okonkwo's internal feelings when he killed Ikemefuna. In spite of being profoundly grieved by killing him, he ends up calling himself a "shivering old woman" in order to refrain from depicting affection. A further example on his fear towards weakness is that of his constant beating and nagging on his son, Nwoye, in whom he foresights his father.
Moving to wider aspect of the setting which is the society, Umofia also had a tremendous contribution in building Okonkwo's character. As Achebe addresses Umofia's background of having a fierce reputation in war and magic highlights its history of producing great warriors. From this, the the audience are revealed to the society of Umofia which values individual display of prowess and rewarding titles based on their contribution to the community. This is exemplified in a few events in the novel such as when Okonkwo "brought honour to his village by throwing Amalinze the cat". Due to this achievement, Okonkwo is held in high regard in his society. Through this, Okonkwo is affirmed that the prestige that he attained is a result of his depiction of manliness and therefore made masculinity central to his personality. This is clearly indicated in the second chapter when he represented Umofia as the "proud and imperious emissary of war". Through these, the development of Okonkwo's character as mentioned can be justified through his life experience and the society that he lived in.
The second part points out a great twist in Okonwo's life. In this part he is presented to a setting which opposes to his notion of masculinity, "motherland". He sees his misfortune as resembling to the traits of a female. This is reinforced in a few series of events in this part. His reliance towards his maternal family to provide him in beginning a new life in Mbanta foreshadows him the characteristics of his father, Unoka, who was well-known with his debts. In doing so, he is unwilling to admit the reality of surrendering to weakness which he now, however, had to endure. He also knew that he would not prosper in Mbanta as much as he would in his fatherland as evidenced by Achebe in the line "in these seven years he would have climbed the ladder of success".(pg162)
Apart from that, he also felt becoming impotent as he could do nothing to save his clan against the exploitation of the missionaries. What's more, the fact that of bringing in a new government for judgement also threatened his passion of becoming the greatest lord of his clan. On the other hand, he noted also, a sign of effeminateness in his motherland when he suggests a war against the...

Other Papers Like Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe

2743 words - 11 pages Elizabeth Ferrebee Mrs. Sturgis IB English HL - 2 27 August 2015 Part One: * In the second chapter of this novel, we start to learn more about Okonkwo and his relationship with his father. We soon obtain information on how he clearly resented his father starting at an early age because of his failures and weaknesses. But, while reading this and just becoming introduced to Okonkwo himself, it makes you questions if all Okonkwos success was

"Things Fall Apart" By Chinua Achebe Demonstrates Adaptability: The Study Of Change In A Father/Son Relationship

948 words - 4 pages Anthony J. D'Angelo said, "Don't fear change, embrace it." This message is evident in the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Achebe is trying to convey the theme that change is inevitable and the people who cannot adapt will suffer. He shows contrasting sides of embracing change with the characters Okonkwo and Nwoye. Okonkwo is opposed to change and his inability to adapt to change eventually leads to his suicide. Nwoye, on the other hand

things Fall apart

747 words - 3 pages The book Things Fall Apart successfully expressed how Chinua Achebe had succeeded in writing a different story. It pointed out the conflict of oneself, the traditional beliefs, and the religious matters of the Africans. Throughout the novel, Chinua Achebe used simple but dignified words and unlike other books, he also included some flashbacks and folktales to make the novel more interesting and comprehensible. Things Fall Apart was about a man

Things Fall Apart - Essay

1121 words - 5 pages An analysis of whether Chinua Achebe, the writer of the classic novel “Things Fall Apart”, fairly represents women in Ibo society. All over the world, especially in developing countries, women are not treated as equals. It is not any different in the Nigerian society portrayed by Chinua Achebe in his book Things Fall Apart. In Things Fall Apart, Achebe represents the female characters as they existed in Ibo culture, which is without power but

Things Fall Apart: An Analysis of Pre and Post-Colonial Igbo Society

608 words - 3 pages Abstract Chinua Achebe (1930- 2013) published his first novel Things Fall Apart (TFA) in 1958. Achebe wrote TFA in response to European novels that depicted Africans as savages who needed to be enlightened by the Europeans. Achebe presents to the reader his people’s history with both strengths and imperfections by describing for example, Igbo festivals, the worship of their gods and the practices in their ritual ceremonies, their rich

The Subject Of Race In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

1605 words - 7 pages novella. For a long time, however one crucial issue in the work was not addressed, that of race. It was not until 1975 when Chinua Achebe gave his famous lecture, “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” that the issue of race was tackled head on in Conrad’s work. It is this lecture that has become the cornerstone of writing and criticism of Heart of Darkness. It would be hard to find an essay since then that

Dead Man's Path

736 words - 3 pages Dead Filipe Beauduy ENC 1102 October 1, 2015 Final Revision Dead Man’s Path Essay The story of a “Dead man’s Path” by Chinua Achebe is a very interesting one that ended in destruction. One of the main characters, Michael Obi, who was appointed the headmaster of Ndume Central wanted change and discipline in the students he was in charge of. The many that had taken on the task in the past had failed, and he

Things Fall Apart Book Report

1534 words - 7 pages standards when judging another. This concept was commonplace throughout the colonization in Africa. In Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe portrays the white missionaries’ quick dismissal of the local religion and culture of the Igbos as inferior to Christianity and their culture, all the while showing goodness out of some of the colonizers, such as Mr. Brown, who agreed with Akunna on the similarities of each of their respective cultures. Cultural

African American History

714 words - 3 pages Igbo people was rich and suited the daily lives of the Ibo people. However, with the coming of the missionaries it fell apart which this led to disorientations of many other community members such as Okonkwo. His life as well fell apart as he would not stomach the dominion of the white people and, therefore, opted to die. The villagers “came to the tree from which Okonkwo’s body was dangling and they stopped dead” (Achebe 147). Works Cited Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. Johannesburg: Heinemann Publishers (Pty) Limited, 1958. 78-147. Print.

An Identity In Crisis In Things Fall Apart

1737 words - 7 pages An Identity in Crisis Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a story about personal beliefs,customs, and also a story about an identity confliction. There is struggle between family, culture, and religion of the Ibo tribes. It shows how things fall apart when these beliefs and customs are challenged and how a personal identity changes for a man. The novel concerns the life of Okonkwo, a leader and local wrestling champion throughout the

Things Fall Apart Essay

633 words - 3 pages 2/27/2011 Literary Thinking 3 TFA Essay Community In the book, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, Community is the foundation that affixes Igbo society. In order to survive, the indigenous Igbo must join together and form a pact of trust and fellowship so that they can all survive the brutal conditions of Nigeria. Achebe Writes, “All this anthill activity was going smoothly when a sudden interruption came, it was a cry in the distance

Related Essays

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

1398 words - 6 pages just as likely that these new additions to their culture and society would have a negative effect causing many peoples lives to be changed for ever. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe was a perfect example of what effect new ideas and technology can have on societies that have been isolated for generations and have created a unique culture and society because of it. There were many changes that occured when white explores came to Niger

The Importance Of Five Heads: "Civil Peace" By Chinua Achebe

673 words - 3 pages In "Civil Peace" by Chinua Achebe, the author illustrates the life of Jonathan Iwegbu immediately after a long and bloody civil war. Jonathan, the protagonist of the story, counts himself extra-ordinarily lucky because he and his family survive the war with their five heads in their respected places. Along with his family, Jonathan is able to keep a bicycle. Jonathan begins to use his bicycle to create a taxi business and starts to save money

A Mother In A Refugee Camp – Chinua Achebe

1187 words - 5 pages quote shows how a mothers pride always remains – whether the child is dead or alive. Other Information Chinua Achebe’s Mother in a Refugee Camp, paints the pathetic picture of a mother holding her dying son in her hands for the last time, portraying both the inevitability of death and the pain of those whose loved ones have died yet they live on in a harsh light. The poem is full of the agony of a mother who has to witness her child’s death in

An Analysis Of “Everyday Use” By Alice Walker And “Dead Men's Path” By Chinua Achebe

3660 words - 15 pages Chinua Achebe and Alice Walker: Quiescent heroes of Black Literature An analysis of “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker and “Dead Men’s Path” by Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe is a Nigerian writer whose role as a socially committed storyteller is drawn from his ethnic Igbo traditions. As a central focus for most of his novels, short stories and poems, Achebe draws on the cultural traditions with which he was raised to highlight the importance of