Thursday, February 23, 2017

RIP Okonkwo

Okonkwo's whole life revolves around trying to be nothing like his father. His father was lazy, in debt, and died a disgraceful, "feminine" death. Okonkwo is strong, hardworking, and aggressive. He build up a reputation as a well-respected and intimidating leader of the clan. However, things fall apart for Okonkwo as a result of the British. He wants to go to war with them, but the rest of the clan is hesitant. Okonkwo is pushed to the limit and kills one of the District Commissioner's messengers, but non of the clan responds or rallies around him. Okonkwo chooses to kill himself, dying a "feminine" death just like his father. Okonkwo represents strict traditional values of Igbo culture, and the British break him down just like they do the culture.

1 comment:

Joseph Martin said...

I think it is very interesting how Okonkwo dies in the precise way that he feared: a feminine death like his father. His main fear is to end up like his father, so he tries to be the complete opposite of him all his life. He scorns any sort of music because his father played music, and he tries to be as manly and hardworking as possible. It is ironic that Okonkwo's sense of pride and attempts to be different from his father are what actually causes him to kill the court messenger and kill himself. Thus, he dies in the same disrespectful way that his father does because he committed suicide, which is a high sin in the Igbo culture. His fatal flaw can make him be perceived as a tragic hero, but he actually is flawed to show that the Igbo culture is not perfect.