"Things Fall Apart" Essay.

Essay by chrisquestHigh School, 10th grade November 2005

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Book: "Things Fall Apart"

Author: Chinua Achebe.


In the novel "Things Fall Apart", by Chinua Achebe, the protagonist, Okonkwo, encounters many problems in his struggle to become the leader of the clan. But is he able to fully overcome these problems? His son is Christian, he beats his wives, he kills a clansman, and murders his own adopted son, Ikemefuna. The question is whether Okonkwo is really causing his own problems, or whether he is just an unlucky person. He doesn't seem to have many other things in his head besides anger, and so his actions portray only that of anger and self misery.

First, Okonkwo is nagged by the presence of Ikemefuna, although he likes his style and wishes that his son would be just like him. He participates in killing Ikemefuna, against the advice of his long time friend Ezeudu, "That boy calls you father.

Do not bear a hand in his death", and he continues, "Yes, Umuofia has decided to kill him. The Oracle of the Hills and the Caves has pronounced it... But I want you to have nothing to do with it. He calls you father"(55-56). Ezeudu, as the oldest in the village, is very experienced and probably has a reason to ask Okonkwo not to kill Ikemefuna, besides friendship. He knows that the gods will not tolerate what Okonkwo will do, and therefore tries to stop him. Okonkwo does not stop, and causes trouble for himself, by angering the gods, which may be why his gun goes off inadvertently at the funeral of Ezeudu himself. Ezeudu warned him, and at Ezeudu's funeral Okonkwo is punished.

Okonkwo often beats his wives, and since his temper is so high, he forgets at one point and beats his wife during...