Things Fall Apart Okonkwo Analysis
At the funeral for Ezeudu in the final chapter of Part 1, Okonkwo--who in the previous chapter has just been described as "the greatest wrestler and warrior alive" (118)--accidentally shoots Ezeudu's son with his gun. "It was the dead man's sixteen-year-old son, who with his brothers and half-brothers had been dancing the traditional farewell to their father. Okonkwo's gun had exploded and a piece of iron had pierced the boy's heart" (124). Okonkwo's property must be destroyed, his houses burned, his animals killed. The earth must be cleansed.
As soon as the day broke, a large crowd of men from Ezeudu's quarter stormed Okonkwo’s compound, dressed in garbs of war. They set fire to his houses, demolished his red walls and destroyed his barn. It was the justice of the earth goddess, and they were merely his messengers. They had no hatred against Okonkwo. His greatest friend, Obierika, was among them. They were merely cleansing the land which Okonkwo had polluted with the blood of a …show more content…
During his exile Okonkwo is listless, almost paralyzed by his inability to do any work beyond providing for his family. Achebe implies that once Okonkwo is away from his fatherland, his character is effaced, almost obliterated. He can no longer act as a man among men. Instead, he is limited to reaction, especially rage, as he hears stories about the coming of the white men. He calls other men fools for not fighting back, for not retaliating against the Europeans, but his ravings are mostly impotent, unheard cries of frustration that Ibo men are no longer men but women, "clucking like old hens" (153). When he learns of Nwoye's decamping to the Christian missionaries, he asks himself, "How then could he have begotten a son like Nwoye, degenerate and effeminate?" (153). Okonkwo correctly views the white missions as a threat to his way of life, and community. He is too proud to change just because the missions have more