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Okonkwo's Resistance to Change in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay

Assignment id 1013070
Discipline Biology
Assignment type Essay
Words 1436
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The character of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart was driven by fear, a fear of change and losing his self-worth. He had the village of Umuofia, his home, to remain untouched by progress and time because its structure and system were the steps by which he imputed worth and meaning in his own life. Okonkwo took this outside arrangement because of his youth and a strained relationship with his father, which was also the origin of his anxieties and following drive for achievement. When the structure of Umuofia changed, as happens in society, Okonkwo was unable to adapt his methods of self-evaluation and ways of functioning in the world; the life he was determined to live couldn't endure a new environment and collapsed . From an early age, Okonkwo was embarrassed of his father, Unoka, who was unable to feed his family. The unpredictability of getting enough food at a young age was sufficient to inspire fear and humiliation in Okonkwo who correlated this embarrassment with his father and was given additional justification for these feelings when he went out to Umuofia, detecting that the other villagers held similar remarks of Unoka. When he was old enough, Okonkwo started farming his own yams because "he had to support his mother and two sisters [] And encouraging his mother also meant supporting his dad" (25). Okonkwo's self-reliance was admired, valued in the community where "age was respected [ but achievement was revered" (12); this respect gave him feelings of safety, and the respect of his peers pushed him greater self-respect, distancing him from his father. The security and respect became related in his thoughts as he saw his approval in the area as his life's goal and Okonk...

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