Things Fall Apart: Character Analaysis


Everybody throughout the world have different views on everything. There may be at different times when two or more people think alike but it would not be the exact thought of the other. In the novel, Things Fall Apart, everybody does not think the same as the other. While reading this essay, there would be points on two major characters from the novel. It would show the different lifestyles and ways of their living.

Okonkwo was the son of a known coward, Unoka. Unoka never held a title in his life which made other clansmen look down at him. He would borrow money from other and would hardly ever ay them back. He also had a hard time providing for his family. Okonkwo was very ashamed of his father and told himself that he would never become like him. Okonkwo adopted opposite characters than his father and becomes productive, wealthy, thrifty, brave, violent, and he was not entertained by music or by conversation. He was married to three women and was a father to many children. He received much respect from many. (SparkNotes Editors)

Okonkwo was portrayed as a respected individual in many ways. He received respect from nine villages, other than his own. He gained respect from being a warrior and a competitive wrestler. He was a wealthy man who held a position as a clansman. People loved and respected Okonkwo through fear, and he felt that it was a good thing because it was nothing like his father. It was not easy for Okonkwo to express himself, so he does it through physical and verbal abuse. All of Unoka’s characteristics even the good ones, Okonkwo did not want to possess them. It was his ignorance along with his flaws of anger and violence, which led to his ultimate fall. (SparkNotes Editors; Iyasere, Solomon O.)

Nwoye is Okonkwo’s oldest son from his eldest wife. As Nwoye got older, his interest became more of his grandfather’s than of his father’s. He suffered from many beatings from his father because of this, and tried very hard to impress his father. The family took in a boy named Ikemefuna, who Nwoye considered as an older brother and grew very close to him. Ikemefuna shows Nwoye that there are different ways of successful masculinity. Okonkwo does not approve of this but he gives Nwoye a grudging approval. Even though he was given an approval, Nwoye scorns feminine things in order to please his father. (SparkNotes Editors)

Knowing that Nwoye and Ikemefuna were close, this did not stop Okonkwo from killing him. He wanted to show that he was not ‘soft’ and how fearful he was. When Nwoye found out, this made him and his father’s relationship grow apart even more. He despised of Okonkwo’s values, the same how he did to his own father, and sees himself as forever changed. Nwyoe becomes acquainted with the missionaries and easily converts from Muslim to Christianity. Okonkwo is not pleased with the lifestyle that his son has chosen to go and disowns him. This does not bother Nwoye because he then lives a very peaceful and calm life. (SparkNotes Editors)

Okonkwo was a man who believed that if you were feared then you had the most respect for your manhood. Because of this it made him from negative towards many people in his life. His violence and aggressiveness destroyed his relationship with his own son Nwoye. Nwoye believes that there are different ways of showing how strong you are to receive respect from others. Things should not be accomplished by another’s thoughts of success but by your own.

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