Who Is Okonkwo In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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The novel Things Fall Apart, written by Chinua Achebe, is set in the fictional village of Umuofia during around the nineteenth century. Okonkwo, the protagonist of the story, is a respected and successful warrior, having three wives and eight children. Okonkwo is aggressive and stoic, refusing to show any emotion since it is a sign of weakness (pg.28). This is mostly due to his fear of becoming like his lazy and cowardly father, Unoka, who is deemed as failure. In the beginning, a virgin and a fifteen year old boy are given by Umuofia’s enemy clan as compensation for the murder of Udo’s wife. The virgin is given to Udo and the boy, Ikemefuna, is put under Okonkwo’s care temporarily. Ikemefuna ends up staying in Okonkwo’s home for three…show more content…
Also, he shoots a gun at his second wife, Ekwefi, accusing her of killing the banana tree. Later, Ogbuefi Ezeuder, the oldest man in the village, comes with a message from the Oracle, which states that Ikemefuna must be killed. Ogbuefi advises Okonkwo not to take part in the murder, since Ikemefuna considers Okonkwo to be his father. Okonkwo participate anyway out of his fear of being weak. Nwoye understands Ikemefuna was murdered, and so he distances himself with his father. For a short time, Okonkwo mourns over Ikemefuna’s death. When Ogbuefi Ezeuder dies, Okonkwo attends the funeral, and during the funeral Okonkwo’s gun explodes and kills Ezeuder’s sixteen year old son. This is a crime against the earth goddess; so, Okonkwo…show more content…
Okonkwo takes his family to his motherland, the village Mbanta, where Uchendu, his uncle, consoles him over his misfortune. During, Okonkwo’s exile, missionaries arrive to the nine clans. Through an interpreter, Mr.Kiaga, the missionaries’ leader, Mr. Brown, tells the clansmen that there is only one god. Although, most of the villagers mock his ideology, Mr. Brown forbids anyone from forcing Christianity onto the people. One of the villagers to convert was Okonkwo’s son Nwoye. After Okonkwo returns from exile, Mr. Brown falls ill and is soon replaced by Reverend James Smith and under his care one of the newly converted villagers unmasks an egwuwu, killing the “ancestral spirit”. Out of revenge the egwuwu burn down the reverend’s church. The District Commissioner, concerned about the attack, asks to meet the leaders of Umuofia (among the leaders was Okonkwo). The District Commissioner decides to punish the leaders by arresting them. During their time in jail, they are taunted and endure physical abuse. Afterwards, Okonkwo and the others are released, and the villagers hold a meeting, where five court messengers arrive, commanding the clan to stop

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