This essay Modern World has a total of 686 words and 4 pages.
Things Fall Apart
For Okonkwo, “thing fall apart” because he cannot change his ways, and because he will not allow himself to show weakness. He is so imbedded in the traditions of his clan, the Umuofia, that it is impossible for him to change to the modern ways of the British. When the British come and people start converting to their ways, which eventually is a cause of his suicide, is when things fall apart for Okonkwo.
Okonkwo fears looking weak like his father. His father, Unoka, was a coward by the standards of the clan. He feared the sight of blood, never took a title, and died of an dreadful illness. He left heavy debts when he died. Since childhood, Okonkwo was ashamed of his father. When he was a child, another boy called Unoka “agbala”. The word means "woman" as well as a man who has not taken a title. To come out from his father’s shadow, he worked hard and eventually became a wealthy citizen in the Umuofia clan, able to support three wives, and their children. Though his strange relationship with his father, effects his relationship now with Nwoye.
Okonkwo is extremely chauvinist in his attitude. However, despite his chauvinism, his favorite child is his daughter, Ezinma. Of all his children, Ezinma understands her father best. When she comforts him during his depression over killing Ikemefuna, she does not do so directly. She brings him food and urges him to eat instead. Okonkwo fears showing affection or sorrow because he thinks it makes him look weak. Looking weak is the determining fear that rules Okonkwo\'s life. Therefore, he is extremely harsh in his dealings with his family, especially with his son, Nwoye. However, Okonkwo seems to secretly desire affectionate attachment with his sons. He voices this desire through his wish that Ezinma was a son. He says that she has the "right spirit." However, it is not because she exhibits desirable masculine traits. It is their bond of sympathy and understanding that he values.
Okonkwo and Ikemefuna love one another as if they were father and son. He is a good older brother to Nwoye. Ikemefuna also eases the tension in Okonkwo\'s relationship with Nwoye. He could help Okonkwo overcome his fear of showing affection for his family members. However, Okonkwo fears looking weak, so he takes part in Ikemefuna\'s death. Okonkwo fails to overcome his fear, and he is wracked with guilt over killing his surrogate son. His inability to overcome this fear damages his relationship with Nwoye beyond repair as well as Nwoye\'s relationship with Ibo religious and cultural tradition. Which later causes him to convert to the Christian ways.
Okonkwo\'s desire to react violently to the Christian church is not completely motivated by a desire to preserve his clan\'s cultural traditions. He had wanted to make a big splash with his return to his village. However, the church has changed his village so that his return does not receive the attention he wanted. His humiliation in the jail is also a motivation for wanting revenge. However, wars of revenge are not just wars. The Ibo religious beliefs forbid such a war. Okonkwo does not wait for his clansmen to decide their course of action before he kills the court messenger. He acts rashly without thinking. Therefore Unoka\'s words regarding the bitterness of failing alone come to have real significance in Okonkwo\'s life. He values his personal success and status over the survival of the community, and he fails alone. He commits suicide, and despite his great success and prestige, he dies in ignominy like his titleless, penniless father.
In the Umuofia clan, suicide is the lowest form of death imaginable. It comes with no honor. The clan is forced to look down on their once respected and wealthy clansman. They must bury him “like a dog”, which shows how things have really fallen apart for Okankwo. After all he tried, after all he did, he ended up just like his father, and his clan has lost their traditional values.
Topics Related to Modern World
African Writers Series, Postcolonial literature, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo, No Longer at Ease
Essays Related to Modern World
As I Lay DyingAs I Lay Dying William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi where he became a high school drop out and was forced to work with grandfather at a bank. In 1925 Faulkner moved to New Orleans and worked as a journalist, here he met the American Sherwood Andersen, a famous short-story writer. Anderson convinced Faulkner that writing about the people and places he could identify with would improve his career as a writer. After a trip to Europe, Faulkner began to write of the fictitious Yoknapa
Another Salem Witch TrialsAnother Salem Witch Trials The Salem witchcraft trials of 1692, which resulted in 19 executions, and 150 accusations of witchcraft, are one of the historical events almost everyone has heard of. They began when three young girls, Betty Parris, Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam began to have hysterical fits, after being discovered engaging in forbidden fortune-telling (not dancing naked in the woods) to learn what sorts of men they would marry. Betty\'s father, the Reverend Samuel Parris, called in
Maya AngelouMaya Angelou Maya Angelou has dedicated her life to end prejudices faced by many black females in the 20th century. As an author, poet, and entertainer, she is known best for her strong portrayal of African-American women. Some of her most outstanding work is the series of autobiographies that she wrote telling about her childhood. Her work has contributed immensely to Americans everywhere. She has also broken many barriers for black women in writing, entertainment, and in film making. Maya Ange
Review of Ernest Hemingway and WritingsReview of Ernest Hemingway and Writings Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American novelest and short-story writer whose writings and personal life exerted a profound influence on American writers of his time and thereafter. Many of his works are regarded as American classics, and some have subsequently been made into motion pictures. A review of Hemingway reveals many interesting points about his life, about the influences upon his works, and of the the themes and styles of his writings. An examin
Ernest Hemmingway and his WritingsErnest Hemmingway and his Writings Review of Ernest Hemingway and Writings Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American novelest and short-story writer whose writings and personal life exerted a profound influence on American writers of his time and thereafter. Many of his works are regarded as American classics, and some have subsequently been made into motion pictures. A review of Hemingway reveals many interesting points about his life, about the influences upon his works, and of the the themes an
The Romantic PeriodThe Romantic Period 1 English 250-A March 18, 2003 Essay #1 Social Tyranny and Visions of Brotherhood in the Poetry of William Blake Romanticism was an intellectual movement that spread throughout Europe towards the end of the eighteenth century through to the middle of the nineteenth century. It was an age in which philosophers, artists, writers, and composers responded with enthusiasm to the forces of nationalism that were sweeping across Europe, but rejected the notions of the enlightenment t
Children in-between: constructing identities in thChildren in-between: constructing identities in the bicultural family. March 1999 v5 i1 p13(1) While transnational movement and migrancy are not new fields of inquiry for anthropology, the experiences of children from inter-cultural marriage, as a part of these processes, have rarely been discussed. In this context, competing cultural ideas of childhood and child-raising are tackled in the intimacy of the domestic home and family life. Ethnographic evidence from families where there is a parent
BLACK VS. BLACKBLACK VS. BLACK Psychology of Racism Racism If you\'re White you\'re alright, if you\'re brown, stick around, if you\'re Black, stay back. You may not have ever heard that old saying, but many believe the feeling behind it is still as popular as the rhyme was generations ago; positive character traits are associated with light skin, while negative attributes and problems are connected to darker skin color. Many people believe that African Americans receive a great amount of discrimination from C
Research on BaseballResearch on Baseball English 12 03/15/04 How did Baseball first start? Baseball first started in the early days of civilization. Baseball had spread throughout Europe by the middle ages and became popular in different ways. The Europeans brought the sport of Baseball to the American colonies in the early 1600’s. In 1869, Baseball became an American sport and was introduced as a professional league under the name of Major League Baseball (MLB). The rules of Baseball were originally created on Sep
Reality Based ProgrammingReality Based Programming “By crossing into a space whose curvature is no longer that of the real, nor that of truth, the era of simulation of inaugurated by a liquidation of all referentials-worse: with their artificial resurrection in the systems of signs, a material more malleable than meaning, in that it lends itself to all systems of equivalences . . . It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the re
AlgeriaAlgeria Introduction The last time I was in Algeria is 15 years ago. Back then it was save for me to travel in Algeria and to see the familiy of my mothers side. The reason why I chose this country is not because I identify myself with Algeria but the complete opposite. I don’t speak Arabic and I know very little about Algeria’s historical background. The reason why I chose Algeria is to find out more about the country my mother is from. First I will outline the history of Algeria (early and rec
BASEBALLBASEBALL Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game, wrote American author and historian Jacques Barzun. Baseball has been called America\'s national pastime, and for more than 150 years people of all ages have enjoyed playing or watching the game all over the world. Every year more than 70 million spectators attend games played by the major league teams in North America and by professional teams around the world, especial
Aaron Douglas' LifeAaron Douglas\' Life Aaron Douglas was born on May 26, 1899 in Topeka, Kansas. Douglas\' talents allowed him to become a successful muralist. He was commissioned to do the murals for the 1920 opening in the Club Ebony in Harlem. In 1929, he traveled to Chicago to create a mural for the Sherman Hotel\'s College Inn Ballroom. Aaron graduated with a B.A. in fine arts from the University of Nebraska in 1922. During the Harlem Renaissance, the name of Aaron Douglas was supreme as an artist among his
Langston HughesLangston Hughes Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. His father was James Nathaniel and his mother was Carrie Mercer Langston Hughes. His grandfather was Charles Langston, an Ohio abolitionist. As a young boy he lived in Buffalo, New York, Cleveland, Ohio, Lawrence, Kansas, Mexico City, Topeka, Kansas, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Kansas City, Kansas. In 1914 his parents divorced and he, his mother, and his stepfather moved to Lincoln, Illinois. In high school bac
Jackie RobinsonJackie Robinson (1919-72) Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia., on January 31, 1919 to Jerry and Mallie Robinson. He grew up in Pasadena, California. In high school and at Pasadena Junior College he showed great athletic skill in track, basketball, football, and baseball. He left school in 1941 and was drafted the following year for Army service during World War II. After receiving a medical discharge in 1945, Jackie Robinson decided to tryout for the Boston Red Sox, but ended up