Chinua Achebe's: Okonkwo

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Chinua Achebe's, Things Fall Apart could be considered a modern-day epic as a result of its world-renowned recognition; eight million papers in print in fifty different languages. Achebe's main character in the novel: Okonkwo compares to the heroic figure of Odysseus, in Homer's epic The Iliad. Okonkwo embodies the early ideals, characteristics, and traditions of his people and/or nation. And through Achebe's dignified literary style, and use of language-Okonkwo represents the concept of self and society, and of the culture class during Africa's colonization by western philosophy.

Okonkwo is introduced to the reader with a sense of urgency and importance in the opening sentence: "Okonkwo was well know throughout the nine villages and even beyond." (Achebe 3) The reason was a result of him bringing honor to his village for being the fiercest wrestler when he was a younger man. Achebe's physical description of Okonkwo is one of reverence, and could be used to describe many of the men in Umuofia. He is large, and his facial structure makes him seem to wear an angry expression at all times. The fact that his three wives could hear him breath while he slept, even though they lived in separate houses creates a strong image. Okonkwo personality is that of quick to anger and prone to expressing his anger through his fists. One important quality of Okonkwo is his desire to be successful-he has no patience for men like his father who had taken no title and died heavily in debt.

As a result of Okonkwo's need for success comes his strength of working harder and longer than anyone else.In his village of Umuofia, men were recognized by there worth not by a patriarchal system. This is important for Okonkwo because he did not inherit a barn from his father, and was forced to borrow his first seed-yams from a rich man in the village. Yams were a sign of manliness in Umuofia, a man was considered great if he "could feed his family on yams from one harvest to...
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