Okonkwo’s Character Analysis
The protagonist of the book Things fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo is a leader of the Igbo community. He is described as "tall and huge" with bushy eyebrows and a wide nose that him a very severe look. Despite his stature he is very light on his feet, "as if he is going to pounce on somebody." He always breathes heavily and stammers slightly. He is seen by others to be a very fierce, stern warrior, showing all the signs of a true Alpha Male, but all these traits are put on by Okonkwo in the attempt to distance himself from the image of his father. His father, Unoka had many effeminate qualities, such as his like for music. These were traits Okonkwo sought to eradicate from his family. He was very uncompromising and sometimes unreasonable.
Okonkwo tries to showcase his stern demeanor towards his family, his wives in particular. He threatens them openly if they think of disobeying him, scoffs at their feminine tendencies and generally tries to dominate over his family, in an effort to demonstrate his power, believing that being a man has given him the right to do as he pleases. He beats his wives continuously without any shred of guilt, even going as far as to scare them with weapons when he believes they are disobeying or disrespecting him. One example is when Okonkwo brandishes his gun and tries to shoot Ekwefi when she comments on his poor gunmanship, missing in the process. However, despite seeming like a man with a heart of stone, Okonkwo isn’t as emotionless as he tries to show people to be. He tries to protect Ikemefuna in his last days, by lying about his fate. He develops some protective instincts towards Ikemefuna and tries to keep him at ease until the execution. But when Ikemefuna runs to him for protection, Okonkwo kills him. It is unknown whether it was instinctive or whether Okonkwo wanted to save his son any more suffering and fear and instead ended his life quickly. Okonkwo does show some emotion...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document