Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Fall

As we discussed, Okonkwo is the protagonist of Things Fall Apart who is driven by fear. He fears that people will think of him as weak and thereby equate him to his lazy father. He also worries that his sons will turn out "feminine" just look his father. When the British come in the picture, they start peacefully and pretend they only wish to help the natives. However, they slowly dominate the land by incorporating churches, schools, hospitals, and a trading post. This causes the tribe to be broken up because many decide to participate in British affairs. The British aid in all of Okonkwo's worst fears coming true. They are the ones who drive an already disillusioned Nwoye out of his tribe by presenting Christianity to him thereby making him leave his tribe. Also, Okonkwo is disturbed that his kinsman refuse to fight the invaders and he kills himself as a result. He can not handle the lack of masculinity among his own people especially his son and he sees no alternative. In this way he ends up just like his father, in the Evil Forest and his life work all amounts to nothing in the end.

3 comments:

Brooke Williamson said...

I think Okonkwo's fall is largely due to his overwhelming pride and, like Rickeia said, his wish to be the antithesis of his father who he despises. Okonkwo is also extremely aggressive and masculine and often has difficulty reigning in his violent tendencies. This leads to several rash acts which he doesn't think through clearly.

Bailey Taylor said...

I think okonkwo's fall has to do with his insecurities. He is so concerned with proving that he is not weak, that he often thinks irrationally. The only reason he needs to prove his masculinity so much is because he is insecure and cares what other people think about him.

Julia Scofield said...

Okonkwos greatest flaw is his pride. It makes him unable to act rationally. Instead, he comitts acts that truly do not make logical sense if you analyze them rationally. The British on the other hand commit the things they do because they are racist and do not know better. They legitimately believed that they were superior and therefore must help the natives. Does this excuse any of their actions? Of course not.