Things Fall Apart Essay

Submitted By maddylcase
Words: 1121
Pages: 5

Things Fall Apart Essay Many years ago, and even in more recent days, leaders of towns and countries have been called weak and not in control. But, leaders of these places have to put up with unruly citizens, uncontrollable weather, and the unpredictable food supply, and still keep a handle on the civilization. Leaders are stronger than what most people believe and they are strong for many different reasons. In the novel, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo is a man in charge of a tribe within the Ibo culture. With all the troubles he encounters in the novel, Okonkwo is still able to show his strength as a leader. Besides Okonkwo’s fear of ending up like his father, his need for power, fear of poverty and weakness, and overall success, ultimately made Okonkwo a strong leader of the tribe. To begin, Okonkwo’s need for power encourages him to be a strong leader in the Ibo culture. Okonkwo wants to be the greatest man and hold the highest title. Power comes difficult to Okonkwo because of his rough start with his father in the beginning. “Okonkwo did not have the start in life which many young men usually had. He did not inherit a barn from his father. There was no barn to inherit” (Achebe 16). Because of Okonkwo’s unsuccessful father and childhood, all Okonkwo wants in life is to be someone and hold a title. Even though his father does not help Okonkwo get there, he is the reason Okonkwo wants power so bad. After he gets the power he ultimately wants, he uses it in a positive way and becomes a strong leader of his tribe. In addition, Okonkwo fears poverty and weakness and because of that, it helps create a strong leader of the tribe. Okonkwo does not want to be poor like his father. Okonkwo puts effort into his work and is never lazy. He strives to be the best and accomplish as much as he can. “During the planting season Okonkwo worked daily on his farms from cock-crow until the chickens went to roost” (Achebe 13). Okonkwo never takes a break. He works morning to night in order to maintain his farm and animals. Okonkwo owns a valuable farm and while he carefully grows yams and other food, his wealth becomes greater. Okonkwo is terrified of being poor like his own father, so all his hard work he put into becoming wealthy, he also put it in his leadership. He helps the less fortunate of the tribe and anyone in need. Also, Okonkwo fears the weakness his father had. He does not want to end up like his father so he sets many goals in life and accomplishes them. “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. It was deeper and more intimate than the fear of evil and capricious gods and of magic, the fear of the forest, and of nature, malevolent, red in tooth and claw. Okonkwo’s fear was greater than these. It was not external, but lay deep within himself. It was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father. Even as a little boy he had resented his father’s failure and weakness, and even now he still remembered how he had suffered when a playmate had told him that his father was agbala. That was how Okonkwo first came to know that agbala was not only another name for a woman, it could also mean a man who had taken to title. And so Okonkwo was ruled by one passion – to hate everything that his father Unoka had loved. One of those things was gentleness and another was idleness” (Achebe 13). Okonkwo resented his father’s weakness even when he was younger. He does everything to get rid of his father’s name and reputation. He builds himself strong and that strength carries on with him and makes him a strong, accomplished leader of the tribe. Lastly, Okonkwo iss a strong leader of the tribe because of his overall success in life. Even when Okonkwo was only eighteen years old, he was well known throughout his village and others as well. “Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame