Things Fall Apart

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In this paper I argue the many reasons Okonkwo had to commit suicide, the first argument being that Okonkwo was born to a failure. “He was poor and his wife and children had barely enough to eat. People laughed at him because he was a loafer, and they swore never to lend him any more money because he never paid back.” (pg.4) Unoka, Okonkwo’s father was not the type of man that he wanted as a father. “He had no patience with unsuccessful men. He had no patience with his father.” (pg.4) Okonkwo knew he was lucky a man wasn’t judged by the worth of his father, and he worked hard so that he would never turn out to be like his father. Not only was he ashamed of the lifestyle his father lived but also the way he died. Unoka died in such a way that was an abomination to the earth goddess.

It wasn’t only his father that he had to be ashamed of; Okonkwo was also ashamed of Nwoye, his first son. “Nwoye, was then twelve years old but was already causing his father great anxiety for his incipient laziness. At any rate, that was how it looked to his father, and he sought to correct him by constant nagging and beating. And so Nwoye was developing into a sad faced-faced youth.” (pg.13-14) Okonkwo was a very manly man, he believed that men should be strong; they should work hard and support their families. All Okonkwo wanted was for his son was to be a great man, a great farmer, and a man who would be capable of ruling his father’s household when he died. But to him Nwoye was lazy and feminine. He wished for his daughter Ezinma to be his son over Nwoye.

I believe Okonkwo’s wives are also a part of the reason he committed suicide. ““We live in peace with our fellows to honor our great goddess of the earth without whose blessing our crops will not grow. You have committed a great evil”” (pg.30) He beat his youngest wife during the week of peace. His neighbors heard the cries of his wife, and he was punished by Ezeani. I think Okonkwo was embarrassed, and If that harvesting...
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