Things Fall Apart

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In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo worries that after his participation in the killing of Ikemefuna his emotions will show as a sign of weakness. Expressing emotions as a male is seen as a sign of femininity and therefore a sign of weakness in Ibe culture. Okonkwo tries to hide his emotions behind his actions and temper that lead to the foreshadowed ending of the village slowly falling apart.

At the start of the novel we are introduced to Okonkwo as an amazing fighter who was nothing like his selfish and title-less father. This immediate introduction to his father emphasizes the importance of Okonkwo not wanting to be associated with his father. His father was a drunkard who was seen as a selfish and lazy man that disgraced his family. Okonkwo is determined to not let this be his destiny so he conceals his emotions as much as possible. The importance of being seen as a leader in Umofia is very important. “So Okonkwo encouraged the boys to sit with him in his obi, and he told them stories of the land- masculine stories of violence and bloodshed.” (52) this is a perfect example of what it takes to be masculine in their village.

Okonkwo emotions clearly start to slip after he puts Ikemefuna out of his misery after the sacrifice. He hides his emotions behind angry out bursts and vents all of this towards his wives and emotional son Nwoye. Okonkwo favored his other sons more than Nwoye mainly because he didn’t seem masculine and therefore could later bring shame to the family if he does not grow up to be like his father. However to properly understand Okonkwo’s emotional stress the reader must separate his real anger from the concealing anger. A good example of his real anger is when he finds out that one of his banana trees is dead due to his wife. “Who killed this banana tree? … okonkwo gave her a sound beating and left her and her only daughter weeping.” (38) This excerpt shows how small things easy enrage him.

After the sacrifice of Ikemefuna, Okonkwo does not...
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