Weakness And Failure In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Improved Essays
Fear of Weakness and Failure
Born in a village in Nigeria, author Chinua Achebe received English education. He had a multicultural upbringing. Growing up, he indulged in English literature but he also developed interest in his native Nigerian culture. He realized the necessity of more literary work about Africa and its people to showcase the true story to the foreign readers who viewed Africans as an uncivilized backward people. He makes an attempt to deliver an accurate understanding of the African culture and shed light on British colonialism in Africa. Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” is a multi-thematic novel of conflicts and weakness (El-Dessouky 100). Through the conflicts in the relationship between the fathers and the sons, Achebe presents to his audience the theme of fear of weakness and failure in the novel.
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Unoka was an idle, spendthrift, and cowardly person. He was interested in music and desired to enjoy his life to the fullest. He spent whatever money he would earn on palm-wine. Unoka said that he “saw the folly of not eating what one had in one’s lifetime” whenever he “saw a dead man’s mouth” to justify his behavior (Achebe 2). He was an irresponsible man and never planned for the future. He never took any title and never gained status or respect from the villagers. He couldn 't stand the sight of blood, therefore, he never became a warrior and was called a coward. Unoka 's behavior was completely different to typical Igbo tradition that valued masculinity, wealth, and success. He was never taken seriously and was treated in a disrespectful manner by the Igbo clansmen. Hence, Okonkwo saw his father as a failure and a weak person. At the end, Unoka dies a shameful death and was left to die alone in the Evil

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