Character Analysis: Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Who are you? Who am I? These are the questions we would ask ourselves and people around us if we were betrayed by our culture. Chinua Achebe’s novel titled Things Fall Apart explains Ibo culture’s story on the precipice of revolution. Achebe depicts the cultural collision of the Igbo traditions and ways of life and the winds of change that are introduced by British missionaries as they settle into their region. Within this realm of complexity and uneasiness among the Ibo tribe who approach these new practices in disparate ways, lies the main character, Okonkwo. His soul possesses dissatisfaction with this concept of change, that he reacts head-on in a bitter and intimidating manner to resist the conversion of culture. Okonkwo wants to prove …show more content…
He struggles to fight the challenges happening within the Ibo society. Okonkwo cannot withstand seeing his own people abandon their traditions and norms that they held their entire lives. He states that “[He] was deeply grieved...He mourned for the clan which he saw breaking and falling apart.” Additionally, he saw himself “falling apart” due to his fear of losing societal status. Okonkwo’s impression of self-worth depends on the traditional measures by which society assesses him. As a result, many clan members are inspired to embrace Christianity to evaluate themselves instead of letting another force criticize them. This ultimately angers Okonkwo because he will not have access to his people for assistance in his mission to rid the Western influence and his level of respect in the clan would wither. No matter how hard he encourages his tribesmen to impede the madness, his attempts are always futile. While his people are torn apart by Christianity and surrendered to the invaders, Okonkwo remains confident, but his determination begins to decay. Once the conflict between Okonkwo and the missionaries reaches a climax, he decides to give up on his mission which leads to his ultimate

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