Influence Of Fears In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (FDR). President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said this during his inaugural address to the American people. He said these words during the Great Depression, which was a dismal time in America’s history. People were poor, hungry, and most of all afraid. During that dark time some people acted on their fears by committing heinous acts which they would have never committed if they were not afraid. Some of these people stole, lied, cheated, and broke laws to survive. A person’s fears can affect their behavior in ways that they would not realize. This fact is evident throughout the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The main character in this book is Okonkwo, and he has a tragic life. This character’s life is dominated and tormented by fear. This life crippling fear affects his behavior, life, and…show more content…
One of Okonkwo’s most obvious fears in this book was his fear of failing. In most situations, he had to always come out on top. Okonkwo always thought that he “was cut out for great things”(Achebe 8). He has dreams to be the best in the clan. Therefore, Okonkwo would push himself to the extreme, so he would not fail. By pushing himself he was able to beat Amalinze the cat in wrestling who was the best wrestler in all nine villages. Okonkwo could not fail at anything because failure would derail all of his efforts to achieve his goal. His ultimate goal was to have a high ranking title in his village. He needs these titles to feel that he accomplished something in his life. If he did not gain these titles, he would feel like an embarrassment to his clan. Okonkwo feels that a man with no title has no reason to live. This single minded way of thinking led to his tragic downfall in this book. Okonkwo wants to be seen as someone who is strong and has obtained high titles. This is also why he is afraid of what people think of

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