One of my college essays asked me how my surroundings and family had influenced me and shaped me into the person I am today. I think this is a great question to ask of both the Underground Man and Okonkwo.
The Underground Man was written to be the hyperbolized example of a person who was a product of the nineteenth century. The ideas of the Enlightenment and rationalism surrounding this time period caused the Underground Man to focus on solely developing his mind and not on his emotions or spirituality.
Similarly, Okonkwo is influenced by the environment he grew up in. Okonkwo's father, who raised Okonkwo, was an embarrassment and lazy. Okonkwo's entire life is based around his fear of becoming like his father.
To cope with his issues, the Underground Man projects his negative feelings about himself onto others and tries to make himself seem superior to them. Similarly, Okonkwo deals with his feelings by projecting masculinity and trying to advance in society.
Now, I ask you, what in your environment/family has influenced you into becoming the person you are today?