Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart Essay example

1062 Words Nov 30th, 2014 5 Pages
Okonkwo’s Characterization in Things Fall Apart Things Fall Apart is a novel by Chinua Achebe that tells a story of the Igbo people in the Lower Niger being taken over by Christian missionaries. The main character in the story is Okonkwo. He is characterized by the traditions and culture of the Igbo people. Okonkwo is portrayed as a proud, militant, cruel but caring person. Achebe represents a theme that a character like Okonkwo who is proud and cruel, can also be caring by having the readers sympathize for Okonkwo by his reactions to the killing of Ikemefuna, his daughter becoming sick, his exile, and his suicide. Okonkwo’s character is displayed through a repeating pattern of hardship, then an aggressive reaction. Okonkwo is told to take care of Ikemefuna, so he takes him in as a son, and starts to truly care about him. Then, he is told that Ikemefuna has to be killed. Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna out of fear of being thought of as weak. Okonkwo is even told by Ezeudu, “That boy calls you father. Do not bear a hand in his death” (Achebe 61). Okonkwo goes against his friend’s word, but he feels absolutely awful about it. He has guilt about killing Ikemefuna, and he also has guilt about disobeying the person who told him not to “bear a hand in his death” (Achebe 61). After the boy’s death, “Okonkwo did not taste any food for two days” (Achebe 67). This makes the readers nearly forget that Okonkwo killed him. The readers sympathize for him like someone had just…

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