Okonkwo's Character Essay examples

651 Words Mar 27th, 2013 3 Pages
Essay
Okonkwo’s Character Analysis

The protagonist of the book Things fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo is a leader of the Igbo community. He is described as "tall and huge" with bushy eyebrows and a wide nose that him a very severe look. Despite his stature he is very light on his feet, "as if he is going to pounce on somebody." He always breathes heavily and stammers slightly. He is seen by others to be a very fierce, stern warrior, showing all the signs of a true Alpha Male, but all these traits are put on by Okonkwo in the attempt to distance himself from the image of his father. His father, Unoka had many effeminate qualities, such as his like for music. These were traits Okonkwo sought to eradicate from his family. He was
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Okonkwo is a very obedient follower of law and scripture. Despite being influential, he never questions the elders of the village. He reads the scripture to ensure he does not break any laws, and when he mistakenly does break some laws, he accepts his punishment meekly and submits to everything the elders say, not wishing to create any strife in the village. This is done to ensure that his reputation is maintained as an honorable man. He goes through the punishment even if he thinks they are not fair, just to keep his reputation intact.

Okonkwo is a very impulsive person, rarely stopping to think about the results of his actions, instead of which he just does what he pleases. He also thinks about people’s opinion of him, when he makes his decisions. When Ikemefuna is to be killed, Okonkwo is advised by his friend Ezuedu to not have any effect on this killing, instead being a spectator. But when Ikemefuna runs to him to get saved, Okonkwo mercilessly kills him instead. He does this simply because he does not want to seem weak in front of others. His rashness is what ultimately cost him his life. Okonkwo resents change, therefore he was against the British coming in to change their lifestyle. He kept mourning the loss of old cultures, and clinging on to the past. One day, he rashly decides to kill an officer, expecting his followers to support him and overthrow the British. However, his clan backs out, fearful of the backlash from the British. When he

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