Moral Values In Okonkwo

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Register to read the introduction… Gyekye describes “the Akan ethics as focused on virtue and character; whenever someone commits an act of wrongdoing it is said, not that “he/she did something wrong” but that “he/she is a bad person” (Gyekye, 1987). Although the Akan people are of a different tribe in Africa a commonality is shared in this thought process. For Okonkwo and his clan stature is gained through virtuous doings. “Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid personal achievements” (Achebe, p.1102). It is apparent that these achievements allowed Okonkwo to block out the shadow that his father had cast on him. “By stressing that virtues aren’t merely dispositions we either have or don’t have. A virtue is not just a beneficial disposition but also a matter of our intentions” (Foot, 1978). Okonkwo became enthralled with becoming better than his father and achieving all the titles that a man can earn in his clan. More importantly holding great title does not only influence Okonkwo, he is driven by his cultural beliefs “That when a man says yes his Chi says yes also” (Achebe, …show more content…
He takes his own life when he sees that the people of his clan have lost their way. They stopped believing in themselves and wouldn’t stand up for the leaders or the clan when the atrocities that transpired took place. The clan seems to have lost themselves with the appearance of the white men and the Christian church. This change in the clan’s beliefs set a man who was revered as a great warrior and prestigious man to take his own life. In their belief taking ones own life is a far worse than anything else a man could do “It is an abomination for a man to take his own life” (Achebe, p.1190). Okonkwo suffered from a loss so great he ended his own life; this loss was of his beliefs. “That man was one of the greatest men in Umuofia. You drove him to kill himself; and now he will be buried like a dog” this is one of the last quotes in the story and it defines a truth but fails to tell the whole truth (Achebe, p.1190). Okonkwo didn’t take his life because of the white mans burden. The White mans religion changed his kinsmen. Okonkwo felt that he had lost everything when he lost his kinsmen to their weakness. The beliefs we bear are the things that define as humans. It is in our genetic makeup like DNA. We can choose to accept the changes that are presented or we can break from not adapting to the change. “We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon - Franklin …show more content…
Things Fall Apart, Part One. 2nd. 2nd. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009. 1102. Print.

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Foot, Philippa. Virtues and Vices. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1978

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Mayo, Bernard. “Virtue or Duty?” In Vice or Virtue in Everyday Life, edited by Christian Hoff Sommers and Fred Sommers. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1985.

Narveson, Jan. “Morality and Violance: War, Revolution, Terrorism. “In Matters of Life and Death, 3rd ed., edited by Tom Regan. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.

Roosevelt, Franklin D.. "Address on Hemisphere Defense." The American Presidency Project. Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, 2012. Web. 5 Apr 2012.

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