Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe- 5 Meaningful Quotes Revolving Around Okonkwo

Essay by krdixon83High School, 10th grade October 2008

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In the essay “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, there are five meaningful quotes that revolve around Okonkwo’s status during his life. In the beginning of the novel Okonkwo became an important part of his village early in his life when he defeated Amaline the Cat in a wrestling match. His victory made him a celebrity among the nine villages of Umuofia because Amaline had been undefeated for seven years. At this point, Okonkwo began on the path to high social status among his village, which was his goal throughout his life.

The first quote that the narrator metaphorically describes is how great status can be achieved at a young age, “Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings. Okonkwo had clearly washed his hands and so he ate with Kings and elders.”

(Chapter 1 Pg. 8) This quote implies that Okonkwo worked very hard at a young age to be able to eat with the elders. Age respected among his people means that the older a person is, the more respect he will attain. However, Okonkwo was not old at all so he focused on attaining that same respect through means of achievements. Thus by attaining much honor at a young age, Okonkwo will gain even more value as he gets older. So when Okonkwo was older, the elders of Okonkwo's village held him in high esteem. Due to his place in society, they entrusted him with the life of a boy sacrificed to them by the people of a neighboring village as a peace offer. Although Okonkwo has reached a high place in his community, this quote also reveals that Okonkwo strived to become a man as fast as he...