16 Sep 2022


Analysis of The Okonkwo Character in “Things Fall Apart”

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Things Fall Apart refers to a book authored by writer Chinua Achebe from Nigeria. The novel was published in the year 1958, and its tale records pre-colonial experience in the south-eastern area of Nigeria and the influx of the Europeans in the late 19th century. The novel is perceived as the typical contemporary African book in English, among the first to get international critical applause. The story follows the Okonkwo’s life, an Igbo guy and area wrestling champ in the imaginary Umuofia clan in Nigeria. Okonkwo is the central character in the story. The current paper seeks to analyze the Okonkwo character in the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. 

In the book, Okonkwo is depicted as a respected person in numerous manners. Okonkwo was a celebrated person all the way through the nine villages and beyond. Okonkwo’s achievements were grounded entirely in his individual accomplishments. For instance, he was a wrestler and warrior who earned respect through his games. Okonkwo desired to demonstrate that he was not similar to his dad at all. His daddy was a lazy, poor, male whom he did not respect in any way. Okonkwo earned respect by becoming a clansman (the rule-making entity of the township, that every person had obeyed). The clansmen imposed laws and laid down penalty. 

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Furthermore, determination is another of Okonkwo's most remarkable characteristic. Thanks to his unending passion to be not like his dad, Okonkwo is very determined to be precisely what is a dad is not. Ever since the babyhood, Okonkwo has been embarrassed about his dad, since, on the word of the clansmen, the father of Okonkwo did not satisfy the criteria that the males of that era ought to have satisfied. Okonkwo's dad at no time had a tangible title/job. The father failed to become a warrior since he disliked seeing blood, which as per their culture, made him a quitter. On the other hand, Okonkwo, as demonstrated throughout the book, was intensely the opposite of his dad. Okonkwo had a title/job, he was a warrior, and he had a big household. 

Moreover, Okonkwo is set up to have tragic flaws and role as a tragic hero. Okonkwo is an influential and prosperous guy, but then again, he resists his dad’s calm and kind qualities. This leads him to maltreat his son and household, respond violently rather than kindly, and to perceive sensitivity as a shortcoming. Okonkwo is labelled as “a man of action, a man of war” (Chinua, 1958). Okonkwo is frightening, with a huge body and some manner of breathing and walking which suggests own prowess. Nevertheless, Okonkwo has a speech impediment, and after he is incapable of expressing himself with terms, he turns to aggression. 

Also, not like his dad, Okonkwo is successful. Okonkwo turns out to be the “greatest warrior in the 9 townships” and a rich agriculturalist. Okonkwo has 3 spouses and 2 titles in his township Iguedo of the clan Umuofia. What’s more, he shows his power and skill in 2 inter-tribal combats. During his childhood, he earned a great and honored position in Umuofia via his numerous successes. His hardworking nature is swayed by the inability of his dad to leave anything for him, for instance, a title, a farm, or a youthful spouse. Okonkwo was forced to labor on his own to attain accomplishment, partaking in sharecropping and attending to his siblings and mother when his dad would not. 

In addition, Okonkwo is very loyal to his own tradition, culture, and people. As the story begins, Okonkwo says “An Umuofia man does not refuse a call… He may refuse to do what he is asked; he does not refuse to be asked” (Bloom, 2009). His saying showed one of the attributes the Umuofia male prides himself on, that is the kindness and readiness to pay attention. The Umuofia male respects a summoner and listens to his sayings humbly. The feeling of pride to possess the assets of wealthy Umuofia culture is conspicuous in his sayings. In spite of having paternal affection for Ikemefuna, Okonkwo didn’t shillyshally murder him due to the greater good of the township and to adhere to the heads of his clan. His loyalty to his clannish persons is signified here as a soldier like him even qualms to battle when it comes to the hot matters of combating his brothers (Kenalemang, 2013). 

Okonkwo is a bold warrior, nonetheless, his inclination toward aggressive response generates issues in his association with friends and family. “When he walked, his heels hardly touched the ground and he seemed to walk on springs as if he was going to pounce on somebody. And he did pounce on people quite often” (Chinua, 1958). Okonkwo represses his feelings since he trusts masculine behavior necessitates impassiveness. Furthermore, Okonkwo stammers. These weaknesses, together with insecurities because of his father, could be behind his inclination to savage as an initial reaction when he is afraid or angry. 

In a nutshell, Things Fall Apart denotes a book authored by writer Chinua Achebe from Nigeria, and was published in the year 1958. The paper analyzed the Okonkwo character and found several traits. Okonkwo is depicted as a respected person. Determination is another of Okonkwo's most remarkable characteristic. Moreover, Okonkwo is set up to have tragic flaws and role as a tragic hero. Also, not like his dad, Okonkwo is successful. In addition, Okonkwo is very loyal to his own tradition, culture, and people. Lastly, Okonkwo is a bold warrior, nonetheless, his inclination toward aggressive response generates issues in his association with friends and family. 


Bloom, H. (Ed.). (2009). Chinua Achebe's Things fall apart . Infobase Publishing. 

Chinua, A. (1958). Things fall apart. Ch. Achebe , 1-117. 

Kenalemang, L. M. (2013). Things fall apart: an analysis of pre and post-colonial Igbo society. 

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