Importance Of Emotions In Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Scientists have proven that those who hide their emotions tend to resort to violence as a way to express themselves. In today 's society, one typically worries what others think of them. In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is afraid that he will be looked down upon if he shows his emotions. In Achebe 's work, he uses the character Okonkwo to challenge the way society forces us to think. By observing the consequences of Okonkwo 's actions, specifically, beating his wife, killing Ikemefuna, and being exiled, it 's evident that there are rarely positive outcomes of portraying one 's emotions falsely.
Okonkwo was known as “a man of action, a man of war. Unlike his father he could stand the look of blood.”(10). Achebe uses pronounced examples
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He considered himself the strongest man of Umuofia, which explains his unusual acceptance of Ikemefuna, the sacrificial boy from Mbanta, into his family. Okonkwo took this as an opportunity to show those from other villages how strong he could be and “When Okonkwo heard that he [Ikemefuna] would not eat any food he came into the hut with a big stick in his hand and stood over him until he swallowed his yams, trembling. A few moments later he went behind the hut and began to vomit painfully.”(27). Ikemefuna was in an unfamiliar home and village as well as the awareness of Okonkwo and his substantial reputation. Achebe’s successfully uses Ikemefuna to exhibit Okonkwo’s outside view of strength but internal feeling of weakness. Using one character to show another character 's flaws was great choice made by Achebe because it helps the reader understand and relate to each character easily. Without the character, Ikemefuna, readers would not be able to identify Okonkwo’s emotional side. Envisioning a novel without him, readers would see only harsh and violent actions made by Okonkwo, showing a contained, brutal character, unlike the one Achebe allows readers to see through Ikemefuna. Although Ikemefuna did not create significant change in many characters, he was significant in persuading readers to be more open minded and willing to accept Okonkwo for whom readers later see him …show more content…
... Why had Okonkwo withdrawn to the rear?...As the man who had cleared his throat drew up and raised his machete, Okonkwo looked away. He heard the blow. The pot fell and broke in the sand. He heard Ikemefuna cry. ‘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).
Readers know that Ikemefuna and Okonkwo had grown very close throughout time but it’s easily recognized that the closest relationship Okonkwo had ever experienced still is not more valuable than his image.
Okonkwo thrives on being the best; essentially, better than his father ever was. He was not weak or useless and most definitely did not resemble a woman. Also, he planned to raise his son, Nwoye, to be the same.
“Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. 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. Amalinze was the great wrestler who for seven years was unbeaten, from Umuofia to Mbaino.”

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