Analysis Of Okonkwo In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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A leader can be defined as someone who takes initiative or as someone who can be followed by others. Every leader rules and holds himself differently and they all have different causes for the way that they lead.In Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart,” Okonkwo is shown as a person who people follow, even though he constantly makes wrong decisions. His choices are led by the fear of being thought of as similar to his father and the fear of being known as weak.
Okonkwo’s biggest fear was ending up like his father, Unoka. Unoka was described by Chinua Achebe as a “failure”. “He was poor and his wife and children had barely enough to eat” (5). Okonkwo wanted to care for his family and make sure that they end up with everything they could need so that
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“His fame rested on solid personal achievements. As a young man of eighteen he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat” (3). Even as a young man, Okonkwo’s goal was to establish a name for himself so to not be known as the son of Unoka. He made his name through violence. “With a father like Unoka, Okonkwo did not have the start in life which many young men had. He neither inherited a barn nor a title, nor even a young wife. But in spite of these disadvantages, he had begun even in his father’s lifetime to lay the foundations of a prosperous future. It was slow and painful. But he threw himself into it like one possessed. And indeed he was possessed by the fear of his father’s contemptible life and shameful death” (18). Okonkwo had to work even harder to make a name for himself, and he did so through accomplishing goals. Okonkwo proved himself through his accomplishments in a successful attempt to completely rid his father’s name from his …show more content…
“‘My father, they have killed me!’ as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (61). Even though Okonkwo loved Ikemefuna, he was more worried about what other people thought about him. “The wife who had just been beaten murmured something about guns that never shot. Unfortunately for her, Okonkwo heard it and ran madly into his room for the loaded gun, ran out again and aimed at her as she clamored over the dwarf wall of the barn. He pressed the trigger and there was a loud report accompanied by the wail of his wives and children” (39). He shot the gun at his wife because she mentioned his weakest point and he attempted to prove her wrong by shooting at her, but he misses and, in his mind, his reputation had been damaged. “In a flash Okonkwo drew his machete. The messenger crouched to avoid the blow. It was useless. Okonkwo’s machete descended twice and the man’s head lay beside his uniformed body” (204). Killing the messenger is something that Unoka would have never even thought of doing. Even though it allowed Okonkwo to lose his fathers name, it caused him to regret his choices. Okonkwo made most of his decisions based on how others would view him. If he would be seen as weak, he would avoid it, even if it would affect him in a more positive

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