Okonkwo's Identity

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Steven Pinker once said, “People today sometimes get uncomfortable with empirical claims that seem to clash with their political assumptions, often because they haven’t given much thought to the connections.”Okonkwo’s sense of identity was challenged with the introduction of western ideas into the Ibo culture. Once the new ideas were introduced, Okonkwo began to lose his sense of identity and became his own person, whereas in the beginning he was more superior and was very reluctant to show weakness in any shape or form. The reasons for Okonkwo’s change in his sense of identity included his exile to Mbanta, the new religion, and his feeling of inferiority. Okonkwo’s exile to Mbanta is one of the reasons his sense of…show more content…
The new religion that the Ibo people have allowed to invade their home and disrupt its functionality is somewhat the exact opposite of their own, yet they allow it and the missionaries to stay. “‘We shall give them a piece of land.’ He paused and there was a murmur of surprise and disagreement. ‘Let us give them a portion of the Evil Forest.’” (111) This quote represents where in the story the Ibo people are trying to be deceitful by allowing the missionaries to build a church in the Evil Forest with hopes they will all be struck down but they soon learn that their plan has backfired. Okonkwo believes the missionaries and the new faith that they are trying to spread is all completely insane and finding out Nwoye had betrayed him by converting to Christianity killed him inside, although he would never admit to…show more content…
After Okonkwo’s exile ended, he returned to Umuofia which and undergone so many changes it no longer felt like home. “Okonkwo knew these things. He knew that he had lost his place among the nine masked spirits who administered justice in the clan. He had lost the chance to lead his warlike clan against the new religion, which, he was told, had gained ground. He had lost the years in which he might have taken the highest titles in the clan. But some of these losses were not irreparable. He was determined that his return should be marked by his people. He would return with a flourish, and regain the seven wasted years.” (126) After further investigation, Okonkwo soon realized that Umuofia had gone down a road of no return. He then knew he had to accept what Umuofia had become, which was problematic for someone who shunned change. Okonkwo, in turn, hanged himself because he would have preferred to be dead rather than to live in the abomination that used to be the village of

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