Okonkwo is a wealthy and respected warrior of the Umuofia clan, a lower Nigerian tribe that is part of a consortium of nine connected villages. He is haunted by the actions of Unoka, his cowardly and spendthrift father, who died in disrepute, leaving many village debts unsettled.
1. The Traditional Igbo Culture. Things Fall Apart is set in the 1890s and portrays the clash between Nigeria’s white colonial government and the traditional culture of the indigenous Igbo people. Achebe’s novel shatters the stereotypical European portraits of native Africans.
Okonkwo is a member of the Igbo Tribe. He lives in the village of Umuofia, which is also the name of his clan.
Okonkwo. An influential clan leader in Umuofia. Okonkwo’s hard work and prowess in war have earned him a position of high status in his clan, and he attains wealth sufficient to support three wives and their children. Okonkwo’s tragic flaw is that he is terrified of looking weak like his father.
Because the accidental killing of a clansman is a crime against the earth goddess, Okonkwo and his family must be exiled from Umuofia for seven years. The family moves to Okonkwo’s mother’s native village, Mbanta. He gives Okonkwo a plot of land on which to farm and build a compound for his family.
They are two different words that means different things. Igbo is the language while Ibo is the people.
The novel follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo (“Ibo” in the novel) man and local wrestling champion in the fictional Nigerian clan of Umuofia.
Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness.
Okonkwo -The protagonist Okonkwo has a warrior complex and is a leader of the Igbo community of Umuofia. He despises his father Unoka because he sees his as lazy and weak. He has three wives and many children. Ekwefi – She’s the second wife to Okonkwo and the mother to his daughter Ezinma.
Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid personal achievements. As a young man of eighteen he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat. Amalinze was the great wrestler who for seven years was unbeaten, from Umuofia to Mbaino.
Okonkwo rarely demonstrates his affection, however, because he fears that doing so would make him look weak. Furthermore, he wishes that Ezinma were a boy because she would have been the perfect son. He develops an especially close relationship with Nwoye, Okonkwo’s oldest son, who looks up to him.
Obierika leads the way with five or six others, and the Commissioner follows along with his men. They’re led to a tree behind Okonkwo’s compound where they find Okonkwo’s body dangling.
In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo represents the best part of the tribal values in various ways. At the same time, he represents the worst part of tribal life according to what the tribe values. Truly, Okonkwo has qualities that prove he is a respected leader in his tribe.
As in Chapter 8, Obierika quietly questions clan traditions — this time, the tradition demanding that Okonkwo be banished for seven years because of an accidental killing. He also questions the tribal abandonment of twins, remembering his own innocent children left to die in the forest.
Fire. In ‘Things Fall Apart’, the main character, Okonkwo, is often described in terms of fire and flames – his nickname is even ‘ Roaring Flame ‘ – so, to him, fire symbolizes potential, masculinity, and life.
Lesson Summary In the fifth chapter of Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo once again shows how he is different from his father Unoka; he beats and then nearly shoots his wife because of his own insecurity and anxiousness about not working during the Feast of the New Yam.