Okonkwo's Savagery

870 Words 4 Pages
Humans are fundamentally savage at some point in their life. It is a natural and subconscious part of human life, as they themselves are animals after all. Humans can be savage towards other humans seen in domestic abuse, or towards animals also seen in animal abuse. Savagery is best depicted in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The main protagonist Okonkwo, is introduced as a man full of glory, who regards masculinity above all, despising his father who was lazy. His life is turned upside down when is exiled from his village and with the arrival of the Christian missionaries, that starts to rip apart Okonkwo’s life in pieces, and eventually drives him to commit suicide. The story reflects through how emotions like fear can make a person …show more content…
The trepidation that Okonkwo felt caused him to kill Ikemefuna, as a way to to run away from his own fears, and his justification of being unmanly if he were to fail, presenting him as savage. Okonkwo partakes in the premeditated murder of Ikemefuna, as the village oracle commands it and Okonkwo’s conflicting dismay of losing his masculinity if he did not partake in it,”Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down”(61). This presents Okonkwo’s dread of disobeying someone with more authority, and a sense of femininity, causing him to kill Ikemefuna. Because of Okonkwo’s foreboding sense of something bad bestowing on him if he were to anger his goddess, he felt the need to partake in the murder of Ikemefuna, someone who regards him as a father figure. This displays how Okonkwo is inherently savage, because he rather sacrifice someone else, then face the punishments bestowed upon him, demonstrating his savage nature. He is also conflicted by thinking he may become soft if he did not partake in Ikemefuna’s murder, displaying his unease of losing his strong image and become like his father, who is the opposite of himself thus providing more reason to commit such savage act. Besides fear driving Okonkwo to commit savage acts and the display of his savage nature, anger is also a leading factor for …show more content…
The passionate anger he felt towards the commissioner caused him to kill one of the commissioner's messenger, out of fury and revenge for his humiliation in jail. Okonkwo himself, decides to kill the commissioner’s messenger, knowing the village will probably not resist the authority of the white men, but still commits the act because his logical reasoning had succumb to his rage, “Okonkwo’s machete descended twice and the man’s head lay beside his uniform”(209). This presents Okonkwo killed the man on a whim because he cannot contain the raging emotions that were caused by prior humiliation from the commissioner. Okonkwo’s rage and his desire for revenge managed to mute any logical reason, causing him to commit such savage acts, because Okonkwo himself felt provoked and ridiculed after submitting and feeling inferior against the commissioner. Out of his desire to harm the commissioner, Okonkwo had killed one of the commissioner's men. Other than anger, the need to possess something for oneself is a trigger for

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