Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Things Fall Apart Essay Fear
In Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo has a fear of weakness and failure. Although Okonkwo is the strongest man in Umuofia, Okonkwo’s fear of failure does not permit him to be a true genuine person. Okonkwo's life is driven by his fear of imperfection and becoming a failure. Therefore he avoids anything that will prevent him from failing. Okonkwo, one of the most powerful men in Umuofia, is feared and honored. For example, "Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond… He had brought honor to his tribe by throwing Amalinze the Cat"(3). In the Igbo culture, power and fame is established by fighting and wrestling. Okonkwo does not want anyone to think that he is weak and as a result he turns into the most famous and dreaded
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During the week of peace, “He walked back to his obi to await Ojiugo’s return. And when she returned he beat her very heavily. In his anger he had forgotten that it was the Week of Peace. His first two wives ran out in great alarm pleading with him that it was the sacred week. But Okonkwo was not the man to stop beating somebody half-way through, not even for fear of a goddess”(29-30). Okonkwo rampages during the week of peace and beats his wife painfully. He does not want to appear weak in front of the other men and so he beats his wives and acts impulsively. Due to his fear of being seen as weak, Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna "Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak." (61). The way he kills Ikemefuna shows that reputation is more important than a child’s life. Okonkwo's actions depict how anxiety has overtaken him. Rather than coping with his fear, he allows it to dominate him and drive his actions. Okonkwo's apprehension permits him to acquire respect from the Igbo society, simply because it persuades him to show improvement over any other

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