Things Fall Apart Okonkwo's Fears

June 17, 2020 by Essay Writer

Everyone shows fear. Fear can cause an unpleasant emotion due to someone or something being dangerous, painful, or a threat. Many main characters in novels show fear. In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Okonkwo, the main character, who struggles with fear and battles it to become stronger. Okonkwo struggles with fear of becoming like his father, fear of looking weak, and fear of his children not becoming like him.

Okonkwo shows fear of becoming like his father.

Okonkwo reveals his fear of becoming like his father in his thoughts.

Okonkwo fears for himself he will not become like his father (10). Okonkwo wants to be a prosperous person and does not want to deal with the idea of being lazy and good for nothing. Okonkwo shows fear of becoming like his father through his actions. Okonkwo asks to borrow yam seeds from Nwakibie and works hard to grow his farm (21). This shows Okonkwo values hard work and effort and does not want to fall into debt like his father. Okonkwo would rather be the complete opposite of Unoka and become more independent. Okonkwo shows fear of becoming like his father through his words. While Okonkwo speaks to Nwakibie at his hut, Okonkwo says, “I know what it is to ask a man to trust another with his yams, especially these days when young men are afraid of hard work. I am not afraid of work (21).”

This shows Okonkwowants to succeed with his farm and not go into debt like his father. He is more determined to work hard on his farm. Okonkwo shows fear of becoming like his father. Okonkwo shows fear of looking weak through his actions, thoughts, and words. Okonkwo shows fear of looking weak through his actions. Okonkwo drinks wine from the head of a man he killed in war (10). Okonkwo wants the Ibo tribe to look at his social status as a strong warrior. Okonkwo shows fear of looking weak through his thoughts. Okonkwo contemplates killing Ikemefuna (61). Okonkwo did not want to look weak even though he cared for Ikemefuna and did not want to kill him. Okonkwo shows fear of looking weak through his words. During a kindred meeting, Okonkwo says “This meeting is for men (28).” Okonkwo has a chip on his shoulder. He puts others down to make himself look stronger than the rest. Okonkwo shows fear of looking weak. Okonkwo shows fear of his children not becoming like him through his actions, thoughts, and words. Okonkwo shows fear of his children not becoming like him through his words.

Okonkwo says “I will not have a son who cannot hold up his head in the gathering of the clan” (33). This shows Okonkwo wants his son, Ikemefuna to understand the traditions of the clan. He wants Ikemefuma to go along with it. Okonkwo shows fear of his children not using his values through his thoughts. For example, Okonkwo wishes Nwoye would become more like Ikemefuna. This shows Ikemefuna has the qualities of being a son a father would be proud to have. Last, Okonkwo shows fear of his children not becoming like him through his actions.

For example, after one of Okonkwo’s cousins notices Nwoye among the Christians, he informs Okonkwo. Okonkwo then chokes Nwoye by the neck, demanding where he has been after he returns (151). This shows Okonkwo was against Nwoye changing religious beliefs, he wanted Nwoye to stay with the original Ibo religious beliefs like he did. Okonkwo shows fear of his children not becoming like him. Okonkwo struggles with fear of becoming like his father, fear of looking weak, and fear of his children not becoming like him. Many main characters struggle with fear internally and externally. Fear can cause the character to become scared, angry, or give them an unpleasant feeling they battle to become stronger.

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