Was Okonkwo's Suicide at the End of the Novel Expected?

Topics: Suicide, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe Pages: 3 (1060 words) Published: May 22, 2013
Okonwko, the protagonist in the novel Things Fall Apart, had two different sides- the public man and the private man. Though he may seem and portray a very masculine character, that is actually a facade. In reality, Okonkwo is a man loaded with insecurity. Due to his fear of being judged and failing, eventually, he resorted to hanging himself at the end of the novel. Personally, I feel that his death was not one expected.

Throughout the book, Okonkwo shows his determination to succeed. He was driven by the fear of his father- to avoid being weak and feminine, and as such, he developed into someone who was known for his perseverance, and it is indeed a shock that the protagonist eventually commits suicide, since one would have thought that he would possess enough courage to face the consequences. During the year of share-cropping, a vital year to Okonkwo, that marked the start of his career as a prosperous farmer, the rain poured, and the crops were destroyed. As many were discouraged, Okonkwo was described as having a "heart of a(the) lion", and strived even harder instead of being beaten down by the failure. This is a clear representation on Okonkwo's willpower, and perseverance. The fact that he was not able to face up to the changing Ibo culture and chose to gave up is certainly unexpected.

Moreover, Okonkwo was always seen as a character that was warrior-like, one that believed in fighting back for a cause. In the novel, Okonkwo is described as a warrior, having been the first one to bring back a "human head", in the "latest" prestigious "inter-tribal war". This shows his prowess as a person, and his willingness to fight for a cause. Furthermore, he was "one of the most respected lords of the clan", and he "threw the Cat". His remarkable achievements as a wrestler that propelled him to fame serves as a clear representation of the fighting spirit that Okonkwo had. As such, we would expect him to feel very unjustified and anger towards the Whites for...
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