Things Fall Apart: The Downfall of Okonkwo

Essay by billycarts11High School, 10th gradeB+, May 2014

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John Harrington

Wednesday, March 2, 2014

Things Fall Apart Essay

Things Fall Apart: The Downfall of Okonkwo

In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo has always feared the fate that plagued his father. Luckily for Okonkwo, he has the determination and will to overcome the foreseeable future that his father has laid before him. This novel tells the story of a character that is intertwined with intrinsic uncertainties which ultimately leads to the downfall of a once beloved clansman�.

Okonkwo has asserted himself in the Umuofia society making him a highly respected figure at a young age. Okonkwo is described as a strong and powerful man whose success is purely independent and on his own merit. Achebe writes, "And so although Okonkwo was still young, he was already one of the greatest men of his time. Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered". Because of his hard work and dedication to helping his tribe prosper, the elders of the society hold him in high regard.

The "achievement" that Achebe refers to is mostly attributed to his overtaking of the great fighter, Amalinze the cat. When Okonkwo was only eighteen he took down the champion wrestler, which immediately declared his dominance with the other tribe members. Although Okonkwo's outwardly strong appearance, he struggles with the fact that his father was an improvident beggar. He categorizes his father as feminine, which in a patriarchal society is demoralizing�. This explains how Okonkwo's psyche and state of mind drives him to overcome his father's reputation and start a new one of his own.

Okonkwo's desire of wanting to squash his father's incompetence can be seen as a positive or a negative, while it is the main reason for his successes, it also could be blamed for pushing him over...