Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Take on Okonkwo's Downfall.

My ideas don't necessarily differ from most in that we can all agree that Okonkwo's sense of masculinity fuels many of his bad attributes such as his stubbornness and excessive intensity. What we noted less was that he's putting all this pressure on himself to be a man, doing so to reject his father. I find it ironic however that he ponders upon how the free reign of the christian missionaries would have never happened in his fatherland, which he could associate with men, but would have to associate more with his father. This might be a rare instance in which we see Okonkwo thinking subconsciously, and illogically to the rationale of his ideals of being manly. He certainly does not reject his ideals, but this suggests to me that he's repressing a desire to live independently of anger towards his father. I'm not really sure how much sense this makes, and I'm not really positive I conveyed it the way I wanted to, but it's just a thought.


Ian J said...

Indeed, I think it is ironic that the Christians took over in his fatherland of Umofia, as opposed to his mother land of Mbanta. This ties into why a common name for children in Mbanta is Nneka which means "Mother is Supreme". This definitely seems like the case as Okonkwo's motherland has not been infected with missionaries like his fatherland has. I believe this says something about the mother in the family and goes against the "traditional" gender roles people associate with men and women. Normally, like Grant said, the man is the provider and protector of the family in terms of financial support, welfare, wellbeing, and putting food on the table. Here, it is the case that the woman is the "provider" for the family because she cooks the food and the protects the family. The motherland has protected Okonkwo's family from the downfall of the clan associated with the Christian missionaries.

Ian J said...

The fact that the Christians took over in his fatherland says something about how Okonkwo was always afraid that he'd end up like his father. Well in a way, he kind of let his father get the best of him and it led to his downfall (metaphorically of course, because he declined while in his FATHERland).