Thingss Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, depicts life among the Igbo society in Nigeria. Okonkwo is a affluent and respected warrior of the Umuofia kin, a Nigerian folk. He is invariably haunted by the actions of Unoka, his weak and unaccomplished male parent, who died in shame, go forthing many small town debts unsettled. To antagonize his male parent ‘s bad repute, Okonkwo became a strong warrior, successful husbandman, and a affluent household supplier. Okonkwo strives to do his manner in a universe that seems to value manfulness. He becomes stoic to a mistake. His tragic defect was that he equated manfulness with heedlessness, choler, and force, and this brings about his ain devastation.
During the Week of Peace, a hebdomad set aside by the villagers for peace and harmoniousness between each other, Okonkwo finds his youngest married woman, Ojiugo, holding her hair braided before holding dinner ready ( Achebe, 29 ) . He accuses her of carelessness and badly beats her, interrupting the peace of the sacred hebdomad ( Achebe, 30 ) . He makes some forfeits to demo his penitence, but he has shocked his community irreparably ( Achebe, 31 ) . This was his first major mistake, with many more to follow.
Nwoye, Okonkwo ‘s oldest boy, struggles in the shadow of his powerful, successful, and demanding male parent. His involvements are different from Okonkwo ‘s and resemble more closely those of Unoka, his gramps. As a consequence, he undergoes many whippings from his male parent. The reaching of Ikemefuna, a immature male child from another small town, does great things for Nwoye. Ikemefuna moves into his house, becomes like an older brother, and teaches him how to be more masculine ( Achebe, 34 ) . Okonkwo is really pleased with the bend of events, and Nwoye even starts to win his stewing blessing ( Achebe, 52 ) . With the rough slaying of Ikemefuna, Nwoye goes back to being his old, soft ego. His reluctance to accept Okonkwo ‘s masculine values turns into embitterment toward him and his ways. ( Achebe, 61 )
The decease of Ogbuefi Ezeudu is announced. At Ogbuefi Ezeudu ‘s big and luxuriant funeral, the work forces beat membranophones and fire their guns ( Achebe, 121 ) . Tragedy occurs when Okonkwo ‘s gun by chance explodes and putting to deaths Ogbuefi Ezeudu ‘s sixteen-year-old boy. Because killing a clanswoman is a offense against the Earth goddess, Okonkwo must take his household into expatriate for seven old ages in order to expiate. He gathers his most valuable properties and takes his household to his female parent ‘s small town, Mbanta ( Achebe, 124 ) . Ogbuefi Ezeudu ‘s work forces burn Okonkwo ‘s edifices and kill his animate beings to cleanse the small town of his grave wickedness ( Achebe, 125 ) . Okonkwo works difficult on his new farm but with less enthusiasm than he had the first clip about. He has toiled all his life because he wanted to go one of the Godheads of the kin, but now that possibility is gone ( Achebe, 131 ) . This was the following measure in his ruin.
A few old ages into Okonkwo ‘s expatriate, his friend Obierika comes to state him about what Nwoye is up to. He reports that when missionaries came to the small town Nwoye was really careworn towards them, and finally joined their forces ( Achebe, 144 ) . Although Okonkwo expletives and disowns Nwoye, Nwoye appears to hold found peace at last in go forthing the oppressive ambiance of his male parent ‘s dictatorship ( Achebe, 147 ) . Nwoye ‘s full life struggle was because of his male parent ‘s utmost zealousness in being masculine and contemning any emotion. Losing his boy to the Whites and their church was another large measure in his about complete now devastation.
When Okonkwo returns to his small town after seven old ages of expatriate, he finds that Umuofia is really much changed. The church has grown in strength and the white work forces govern the villagers with their judicial system and authorities ( Achebe, 174 ) . They are rough and chesty, and Okonkwo can non believe that his kin has non driven the white work forces and their church out. He profoundly regrets the alterations in his once warlike people ( Achebe, 175 ) . When Okonkwo really acts out and kills a courier of the church, his people do n’t react as he hopes, and he realizes that his kin will non travel to war ( Achebe, 205 ) .
This realisation was the greatest blow of all to Okonkwo. His whole life had been devoted to being strong and masculine, as his folk leaders had ever been. In the yesteryear, the Whites and their church would non hold been tolerated for a twenty-four hours, and war would ‘ve erupted without a inquiry. Okonkwo took the enterprise and killed the first individual, believing that his people would instantly follow and assist him drive the missionaries out. But his small town had changed so drastically that they no longer minded the invasion. When Okonkwo sees that his full life ‘s work had been for naught, he goes place and bents himself. His tragic defect of being manner excessively manliness wholly destroyed him and brought on his decease.
Harmonizing to Robert Bennett, a doctorial campaigner at the University of California, another manner to analyse the psychological dimensions of Okonkwo ‘s character is to analyze how he constructs his sense of gender by asseverating a strong sense of maleness and quashing any sense of muliebrity. There is an internal psychological struggle between the masculine and feminine sides within Okonkwo. While Okonkwo ‘s hyper-masculinity ab initio enables him to accomplish success as a great grappler and warrior, his refusal to equilibrate this masculine side with feminine virtuousnesss finally contributes to his ulterior devastation. At virtually every bend in the novel, his inordinate maleness nudges him toward new problems. Okonkwo is a adult male out of balance who has merely developed one half of his full ego because he merely accepts the masculine side of his civilization.
Linda Strong-Leek, in her essay on Things Fall Apart, reiterates the thought that it is Okonkwo ‘s seeds of suicide, which are profoundly concealed in his desire to be the antitheses of his “ feminine ” male parent, which cause his decease ( www.africa.ufl.edu ) .
The basic unit of Igbo life was the small town group, and the most cosmopolitan establishment was the function of the household caput. This was normally the oldest adult male of the oldest surviving coevals. His function chiefly involved settling household differences, and because he controlled the channel of communicating with the all important ascendants, he commanded great regard and fear. In some countries the authorities of heads and seniors was composed of a regulating age class, in others the council of seniors was made up of the oldest members of peculiar households. Titles played a major portion in this society. There was a hierarchy of go uping rubrics that were to be taken in order, accompanied by an go uping graduated table of payments. The system acted as a simple signifier of societal security, in that those who acquired rubrics paid a peculiar fee, and so were entitled to portion in the payments of those who subsequently acquired rubrics. A series of intense rites were to be undertaken before geting a rubric, which was considered a symbol of character every bit good as of success. A coroneted adult male ‘s life was dominated by legion spiritual limitations, and it was expected that these would be purely adhered to ( www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofEnglish/imperial/nigeria/govt.htm ) .