“That man was one of the greatest men in Umuofia.You drove him to kill himself; and now he will be buried like a dog…”Things Fall Apart written by Chinua Achebe is the story of trials and tribulations that the main character, Okonkwo, has to overcome in anyway that he can.
Some cultures may have seen Okonkwo as a warrior, a strong man, a manly man, a great farmer etc., but I do not believe he was actually as great as he was made out to be and I don’t think that his culture viewed him as all that wonderful either. In the beginning of Things Fall Apart we are introduced to the main character by a flashback of a wrestling match against the undefeated Amalinze the Cat.
As Achebe describes each man there seems to be less of a chance of Okonkwo winning yet “in the end Okonkwo threw the Cat.”After winning this fight the clansmen and villagers view Okonkwo as the strongest man which was the first title that he acquired. Okonkwo’s actions in the story are very similarly related to one another.Every one of his actions relate back to the fact that he did not want to turn into the kind of man that his father was before he died.He hated how his father was lazy and in so much debt.
But most of all he hated the fact that when his father died, he was without any kind of title.That was not the man that Okonkwo wanted to become and he was willing to do everything in his power to keep himself from losing his title in the village. There were three main events in Things Fall Apart that I think really emphasize the point that Okonkwo was not really the man that Achebe tried to make him out to be.With the start of these events lead to a serious snowball effect causing one horrible thing to happen after another until Okonkwo could not cause any more harm to anyone because there is really nothing that you can do when you are dead. The very first event that lead to Okonkwo’s demise, in my eyes, was when Ogbuefi Ezeudu told Okonkwo that the Oracle has said that Ikemefuna, the boy who had been given to the village after a settlement with a neighboring tribe, must be killed.
However, Ezeudu very clearly explains that since Ikemefuna looks up to Okonkwo as a father and seeing how Ikemefuna refers to him as “father” Okonkwo cannot take part in Ikemefuna’s death. Ikemefuna’s death is a very horrible and gruesome one.As the men begin to cut the boy with machetes he tries to run to Okonkwo for help.
Although Okonkwo cares for the young boy he does not want to look weak in the eyes of the other clansmen and begins to join in with the others and starts cutting him with machetes too.This action is in no way “hero material.”The Oracle distinctly said for Okonkwo to take no part in the killing of the boy yet he went against the G-ds, which is strongly looked down upon in the Igbo culture. The fact that Okonkwo took part in the death of Ikemefuna is implied to have led to the death of the oldest tribal member, Ogbuefi Ezeudu.During the end of the funeral the one handed man asks “If your death was the death of nature; go in peace.But if man caused it, do not allow him a moment’s rest.
”With that being said it was quite ironic when “…from the center of the delirious crowd came a cry of agony and shouts of horror.It wad as if a spell had been cast.
All was silent.In the center of the crowd a boy lay in a pool of blood.It was the dead man’s sixteen-year-old son, who with all his brothers and half-brothers had been dancing the traditional farewell to their father.Okonkwo’s gun had exploded and a piece of iron had pierced the boy’s heart.
”It was then clear to all of the village that man had caused the old man’s death.And with that being said Okonkwo was exiled for seven years because of this accidental death, which if you think about he caused in the first place. Okonkwo had always perceived himself to be a great man with many titles and people who loved him and thought very highly of him.However, as he was exiled people.