Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart Essay

1038 Words Mar 9th, 2015 5 Pages
Okonkwo’s Suicide in Things Fall Apart In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s suicide is an act of cowardice. Throughout the novel, he tries to prove -- more to himself than to others -- that he is manly and courageous. He does everything he can do to prove this and everything he can do to cover up anything that could potentially disprove this. He overtly shows that he is the best of the best and that he is the “Alpha-male” of the Ibo tribe. What he is really doing though, is getting rid of any sign that he is anything like his father. He is scared of what people will think of him. Moreover, he is scared that he will be seen as agbala. In the end, his suicide is him finally just running away from the problem altogether. For this reason, Okonkwo’s suicide at the end of the novel is an act of cowardice. Before his Okonkwo is clearly seen as a courageous man. Right away in the first chapter of the novel, it is stated: “Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered”(8). Achievement -- in their culture -- is characterized by wealth and fame. Okonkwo gains both of these things through his exceptional farming and fighting practices. He is able to prove himself and remain powerful by persevering through the most brutal farming season and achieving victory in multiple wars and wrestling matches. There is no doubt that Okonkwo was respected by his people. Nevertheless, using the psychoanalytic lens, one can see that this idea is deceptive. In chapter…

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