The Price of Belief
Belief can help people through tough times, and can change people’s lives for the better. In the book Things Fall Apart, the author Chinua Achebe, shows the other side of belief, in which it tears families apart, and destroys society. Everyone has their own beliefs, but some people take them too far.
Chinua Achebe started the book with the good side of belief, the side that brings joy to families, and unifies a group as one, “We live in peace with our fellows to honor our great goddess of the earth without whose blessing our crops will not grow.”(30). Okonkwo clearly has a very strong feeling of pride for himself because of his title, and his strong belief. Okonkwo seems to be more enthusiastic about the rules and guidelines than the other clansmen.
Ikemefuna, Okonkwo’s adopted son, plays a big role in the book and in Okonkwo’s life. Ikemefuna helped to shine a light on Okonkwo’s weakness, fear “dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down.”( 61). Okonkwo had a fear of his own weakness, and his weakness was getting caught up in his own fear. Okonkwo’s fear of weakness was a never ending cycle that was pulling him deeper into a state of isolation and depression. He only had one weakness, and one fear, and he let that consume his thoughts, and rule his life.
Okonkwo was a highly respected man, which lead him to be treated with more respect when he died than that of another clan member. Although Okonkwo killed himself, which was very disrespectful, and was thought of as a sign of weakness and insecurity, he was still respected “That man was one of the greatest men in Umuofia.”(208). If a man of lower class had killed themselves, then he would get no respect, and no pity.