success as well as the cause of his tragic downfall.
Okonkwo?s resentment towards his father motivates his great rise to
prosperity. For example, Okonkwo is so ashamed of his father as a young
everything that his father, Unoka has loved. One of those things [is]
gentleness and the other [is] idleness? (pg. 13). Okonkwo detests Unoka for
allowing his weaknesses rule his life. He is so shamed of having such an
unavailing and indolent man as a father, that he vows to never become like
possible similarities between him and his father, that he immediately strives
to be his extreme opposite. As a result, where Unoka lacks Okonkwo
thrives. In addition, when Okonkwo first begins to establish a life of his
own, ? …He [does] not have the start in which many young men [have]
[received from their fathers]. But inspire of these disadvantages…he
of his father?s contemptible life and shamed death? (pg. 18). Okonkwo
worker, never once showing any signs of failure. Furthermore, through
many years of struggle he becomes, ?…A wealthy [man]. To crown it all he
[has] taken two titles and although [he] [is] still young, he is already one of
eventually earns the revere of the clan. Okonkwo?s determination to rise
above his fathers less than reputable status eventually leads him to the
success he was in search for.
Okonkwo?s efforts to uphold his masculine decorum as a man of great
strength and little weaknesses result in hardship. For example, when
Okonkwo is upset with his youngest wife for being irresponsible,?…he beats
easily enraged and because of his stubborn determination to lead a life free
of weakness, he is impossible to control. In Okonko?s fury to immediately
keep his wife in line, he absent-mindedly breaks the sacred honoring to the
gods and as a result receives punishment as well. In addition, when
Okonkwo discovered that Nwoye was among the men whom were
wall and hit [Nwoye] two or three savage blows. [When Okonkwo finally]
left hold of [him] Nwoye…walked away and never returned? (pg., 152).
Okonkwo?s rigidity ultimately destroys his relationship with his son.
Instead of encouraging Nwoye against accepting the guidance of the
newfound faith. Nwoye eagerly adopts his new way of life as means of
escape from his father?s dominance. Furthermore, when Ikemefuna ran
towards Okonkwo for protection as the men from the clan were attempting
was afraid of being thought weak? (pg. 61). Although Okonkwo never
outwardly displays his great affection for Ikemufuna, he undoubtedly feels
and treats him as if he is his son. Okonkwo admires Ikemefuna?s
willingness to work and ability to learn quickly, but despite his fondness for
him, Okonkwo finds it impossible to withdraw in assisting Ikemefuna?s
murder. He refuses to be thought of as a ?woman? by allowing his
emotions interfere with his responsibility to the clan. In Okonkwo?s strive
to prove his strength he distances himself from the ones he love.
Okonkwo?s overwhelming frustration in his himself as well as in his
clan lead him to his final days. For example, when Okonkwo joins the
gathering to hear Egonwanne speak out against the plan to fight the
all who listen to him. I shall fight alone…? (pg. 201). Okonkwo is
painfully disappointed in his clan for their feeble attempts to defeat the
white men without the obvious solution of using warfare. He is frustrated
with their ?womanly? decisions and refuses to give up with out a fight,
even though he will be single-handedly battling against a cause most believe
messenger out of great rage, ? He knew Umufoia would not go to war. He
knew because they let the other messengers escape…[and] he had heard
voices asking: ?Why did he do it??? ( pg. 205). Okonkwo feels helpless and
alone in his now withering mission to uproot the missionaries from
Umuofia. He is confounded of how such a strongly unified and culturally
He feels he lives among strangers who no longer see him as the highly
respected man he once was but as a crazed man blinded by his belief that
violence is the only answer to their problems. Furthermore, when the
Commissioner came to take Okonkwo away, he was already to late, ?
Okonkwo?s body was dangling [from the tree]…? (pg. 207). Okonkwo
commits suicide out of anguish of losing his lonely battle against the
missionaries. He is convinced that his life long struggle to avoid his father?s
life to adopt that of the ?white man?s? is a proof to him that he has failed in
his mission to do away with these deceiving foreigners.
There are many things that drive people to do well in life, but success
has always come with a heavy price tag. The burning force that may push
you to the top can very often be the same force that leaves you plunging to
the ground. To be able to use a negative aspect of your life as your
motivation in your search for success is a difficult thing to do. Many people
who are capable of doing so often become so engulfed with achieving their
goals out of a powerful fear of reliving that negative time in their life.
Ironically in many cases this fear is what eventually destroys them.