Born This Way
Okonkwo was a hero in Ibo society, initially, because of his devotion to tradition and religion. He was a hero, also, because of his unbreakable resolve, his ambition to be great, and his hard work ethic. Okonkwo’s fall from hero status is a microcosm of the Ibo society’s lost of values which made it an esteemed society. Both Okonkwo and the Ibo society itself abandoned their traditions, religious beliefs, and lost their positions of strength. Okonkwo was a hero in the Ibo society because; he was devoted to tradition, religion, and the rules. Okonkwo stood firm against the religious and political orders that the Europeans brought to Umofia. Even though Okonkwo said that he was doing what was best for his society, he also was fearful of the change to a new culture and a new tradition that would change his high stature in the society, “[a]n abominable religion has settled among you. A man can now leave his father and his brothers. He can curse gods of his fathers and his ancestors, like a hunter’s dog that suddenly goes mad and turns on his master. I fear for you; I fear for you the clan” (Achebe 124). This was problematic for Okonkwo because his sense of his own worth was dependent upon how the society judged him. Okonkwo was a hero because of his unbreakable resolve, his ambition to be great and his hard work ethic, “[h]e had a slight stammer and whenever he was angry and could not get his words out quickly enough, he would use his fists had no patience with unsuccessful men.” (Achebe 5). Okonkwo’s behavior was the result of having a father who was poor, soft, and did not claim any title in his life time. Okonkwo struggled not to become a weak and lazy man like his father. He believed that he had to be strong, hard working, and become well respected by his village but, he was afraid of failure. Okonkwo took on opposite beliefs such as being wealthy, brave and anything else that would not make him look like an agabla, or feminine. Okonkwo’s life...
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