Homo sapiens: Latin for “wise man” or “knowing man”. But most people instead identify themselves as humans or people. What makes someone a person? For some a human is a being who looks, talks, breathes, eats and drinks like they do; a mirror image of themselves. For others a human is a being with emotions; capable of feeling hurt, regret, love, happiness etcetera. The scientific definition of a human is the only living species in the Homo genus, with a highly developed brain that is capable of abstract problem solving, reasoning, introspect and communication through diverse spoken and gestured languages. If humans are all highly developed, intelligent species then why does the human race still discriminate amongst their own species? Chinua
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By dehumanizing those they come into contact with, they are able to kill other human beings without a moment’s hesitation. But in order to dehumanize another human being the veteran, as psychologists have observed in several studies, slowly begins to become more aggressive; each side, the victim and aggressor, retaliate against each other. Once the veteran begins to adapt back into society they begin to humanize. By humanizing they slowly begin to realize what they had done during war and for many veterans this causes traumatic lifelong psychological instability just like Okonkwo experienced in Things Fall Apart.
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart addresses the issue of dehumanization through his character Okonkwo. Humans as a species are highly emotional driven by fear, love and hatred. In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is driven by hatred and the fear of not becoming his father. He feels ashamed of the weakness his father displayed making him believe that emotions are a sign of weakness. The only emotion Okonkwo showed was anger, “Okonkwo never showed any emotion openly, unless it be the emotion of anger” (Achebe 28). By only showing anger Oknokwo begins to become just like veterans of war, he dehumanizes those around him in order to cope with in his case, his phobia of becoming his father. Okonkwo believes that, “to show affection was a sign of weakness; the only