The contribution of various settings in the development Okokwo in the novel \"Things Fall Apart\" by Chinua Achebe. Essay

The Contribution Of Various Settings In The Development Okokwo In The Novel Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Term paper

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The novel \"Things Fall Apart\" by Chinua Achebe is centered around Okonkwo, who sets out a quest of self-perfection and indeed succeeds in doing so. His hyperbolic interpretation of manliness leads him into climbing the ladder of success ;admired and respected by his clan. And so he soon becomes too deep in his ideology of masculinity which later causes his own tragic demise. The focus of this essay is to discuss the contribution of the various settings in the development of Okonkwo. This novel is partitioned into three main parts which deal with three remarkably different settings. These are Umofia, Mbanta and the Umofia in change respectively. In the first part, which is in Umofia, Achebe offered an understanding of Okonkwo\'s nature who lived in fear of becoming like his father. Achebe furthered on providing precise characteristics of his father who was notorious for his unmanly behaviour and therefore died in dispute. He had always been associated with agbala ;woman and titleless(pg 13). Through this, the reader\'s are privileged with the significant event that occurred in Okonkwo\'s course of life in which he grew up in in criticism. This experience has been essential in the formation of his character where he had always been haunted by the actions of his father and attempted to adopt totally opposite characteristics of his father. Although he managed to attain a position of wealth and prestige in his clan, he was always dazed by the fear of being regarded to his father, an emasculated figure that he associated with women. In effort to avoid this, he associated masculinity with aggression- the only emotion that he allowed himself to display. This is discovered in a few events in the novel such as when his wife, Ekwefi, muttered a snide remark about \"guns that never shot\". He dealt this situation of relating him to weakness by shooting his wife to prove he is not all that weak. Similarly, he killed Ikemefuna on account of avoiding himself of being thought weak. In this incident, the audience are depicted with Okonkwo\'s decision of not showing any affection because he is regarding doing so as a sign of weakness ;a quality that he refuses to tolerate in himself. To further concrete the fact that he is very much afraid of weakness, Achebe emphasized on Okonkwo\'s internal feelings when he killed Ikemefuna. In spite of being profoundly grieved by killing him, he ends up calling himself a \"shivering old woman\" in order to refrain from depicting affection. A further example on his fear towards weakness is that of his constant beating and nagging on his son, Nwoye, in whom he foresights his father.    Moving to wider aspect of the setting which is the society, Umofia also had a tremendous contribution in building Okonkwo\'s character. As Achebe addresses Umofia\'s background of having a fierce reputation in war and magic highlights its history of producing great warriors. From this, the the audience are revealed to the society of Umofia which values individual display of prowess and rewarding titles based on their contribution to the community. This is exemplified in a few events in the novel such as when Okonkwo \"brought honour to his village by throwing Amalinze the cat\". Due to this achievement, Okonkwo is held in high regard in his society. Through this, Okonkwo is affirmed that the prestige that he attained is
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