Okonkwo’s Downfall in: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

...Start of the Okonkwo’s Downfall in: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe ...

In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, things fall apart for the character Okonkwo because of his character traits. Okonkwo is a very structured man with little patience for whatever he believes is wrong. Some of Okonkwos negative character traits include his violent temper, which gets him in trouble with his religion, clan, family and the missionaries, and his constant battles with his own father which cause him to believe in what is wrong, even if he is aware of what is right. As well, Okonkwo being such a structured man is a good feature of his personal nature, but even this has a negative effect on his life. Okonkwo is an extremely complex character created by Chinua Achebe, and his life falls apart because of all of these factors.

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Whenever he was angry and could not get his words out quickly enough, he would use his fists.(p.2). He is a very rash person and, when in a fit of rage, does not think about the consequences of his actions. During the Week of Peace, Okonkwo was angry at Ojiugo for not arranging Okonkwos diner before she left to plait her hair without telling him. He walked back to his obi to await Ojiugos return. And when she returned he beat her very heavily.

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The character Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart by Achebe has many problems with his personal nature that causes his life to be destroyed. Okonkwos issues with his fathers failure in contrast to his own success in life led him to believe that the sword is mightier than the pen rather then The pen is mightier than the sword (Edward Bulwer-Lytton). As well, his furious temper was a problem that, mixed with his thoughts about being a man, led to actions that were unwise for his quest of a life opposing that of his fathers. His structure being diverted constantly was too much for a man with as many problems as Okonkwo, and this was the main character trait that caused so many things to fall apart for Okonkwo and lead to Okonkwos end. All quotes and page numbers from the novel:Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe .

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