Work not for a reward; but never cease to do thy work.
Part 1[ edit ] The novel's protagonist Okonkwo is famous in the villages of Umuofia for being a wrestling champion, defeating a wrestler nicknamed "the cat" because he never lands on his back. Okonkwo is strong, hard-working, and strives to show no weakness. Okonkwo works to build his wealth entirely on his own, as Unoka died a shameful death and left many unpaid debts.
He is also obsessed with his masculinity, and any slight compromise on this is swiftly destroyed. As a result, he often beats his wives and children, and is unkind to his neighbours. However, his drive to escape the legacy of his father leads him to be wealthy, courageous, and powerful among the people of his village.
He is a leader of his village, and he has attained a position in his society for which he has striven all his life. The boy lives with Okonkwo's family and Okonkwo grows fond of him, although Okonkwo doesn't show his fondness so as to not appear weak.
The boy looks up to Okonkwo and considers him a second father. The Oracle of Umuofia eventually pronounces that the boy must be killed. Ezeudu, the oldest man in the village, warns Okonkwo that he should have nothing to do with the murder because it would be like killing his own child — but to avoid seeming weak and feminine to the other men of the village, Okonkwo disregards the warning from the old man, striking the killing blow himself even as Ikemefuna begs his "father" for protection.
For many days after killing Ikemefuna, Okonkwo feels guilty and saddened. Shortly after Ikemefuna's death, things begin to go wrong for Okonkwo. His sickly daughter Ezinma falls unexpectedly ill and it is feared she may die; during a gun salute at Ezeudu's funeral, Okonkwo's gun accidentally explodes and kills Ezeudu's son.
He and his family are sent into exile for seven years to appease the gods he has offended. Part 2[ edit ] While Okonkwo is away in Mbanta, he learns that white men are living in Umuofia with the intent of introducing their religionChristianity.
As the number of converts increases, the foothold of the white people grows and a new government is introduced. The village is forced to respond with either appeasement or resistance to the imposition of the white people's nascent society. Part 3[ edit ] Returning from exile, Okonkwo finds his village changed by the presence of the white men.
After a convert commits a heinous act by unmasking an elder as he embodies an ancestral spirit of the clan, the village retaliates by destroying a local Christian church.
In return, the leader of the white government takes Okonkwo and several other native leaders prisoner and holds them for a ransom of two hundred cowries for a short while. The white ruler further humiliates and insults the captives, doing things such as shaving their heads and whipping them.
As a result, the people of Umuofia finally gather for what could be a great uprising. Okonkwo, a warrior by nature and adamant about following Umuofian custom and tradition, despises any form of cowardice and advocates war against the white men. When messengers of the white government try to stop the meeting, Okonkwo beheads one of them.
Because the crowd allows the other messengers to escape, and does not fight alongside Okonkwo, he realizes with despair that the people of Umuofia are not going to fight to protect themselves — his society's response to such a conflict, which for so long had been predictable and dictated by tradition, is changing.
When the local leader of the white government comes to Okonkwo's house to take him to court, he finds that Okonkwo has hanged himself to avoid being tried in a colonial court.
Among his own people, Okonkwo's actions have tarnished his reputation and status, as it is strictly against the teachings of the Igbo to commit suicide. He has three wives and ten total children, and is a brave and rash Umuofia Nigerian warrior and clan leader. Unlike most, he cares more for his daughter Ezinma than his son Nwoye whom he believes is weak.
Okonkwo is the son of the gentle and lazy Unoka, a man he resents for his weaknesses. Okonkwo strives to make his way in a culture that traditionally values manliness.
As a young man he defeated the village's best wrestler, earning him lasting prestige. He therefore rejects everything for which he believes his father stood: Unoka was idle, poor, profligate, cowardly, gentle, lazy, and interested in music and conversation.Hi Erin, Thank you for your essay.
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Essay on Things Fall Apart and its Representation: Chinua Achebe When the western missionaries land the town with bicycles, villagers refer the bicycles as “iron horse”. It is a reflection of community’s ignorance and uncivilized. The novel Things Fall Apart, displays Okonkwo, a local leader in the village of Nigeria.
It describes how his family, comrades and the society and culture of lgbo inherit under the influence of British Colonialism and Christian missionaries during the late nineteen century. About Things Fall Apart The two narrative voices Many critics see Things Fall Apart as a book with two narrators, one that adheres to tradition, and another with more modern views.
In his essay, Wright plays off Neil McEwan's idea of the two narrative voices: the traditional/communal which dominates the first 2/3 of the book, and the individual/ modern which takes over the last third.