In the novel, Things Fall Apart, written by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo is a sympathetic character and unsympathetic character in regards to his family relationships with his conjointly shows sympathy to his daughter, Ezima, a daughter of Ekwefi. Talbott English 10 Accelerated December 4, Things Fall Apart Test 1. One day as Ezinma was eating an egg Okonkwo had come in unexpectedly from his hut. He was greatly The relationship between them was not only that of mother and child. Also, you can print vocab lists, quizzes, and more. ▷ When . Chinua Achebe's novel ''Things Fall Apart'' follows Okonkwo, an Igbo man, Learn about one of those characters, Ekwefi, in this lesson, and test yourself with a of their relationship, she suffers a great deal under Okonkwo's sudden mood .
The boy looks up to Okonkwo and considers him a second father. The Oracle of Umuofia eventually pronounces that the boy must be killed. Ezeudu, the oldest man in the village, warns Okonkwo that he should have nothing to do with the murder because it would be like killing his own child — but to avoid seeming weak and feminine to the other men of the village, Okonkwo disregards the warning from the old man, striking the killing blow himself even as Ikemefuna begs his "father" for protection.
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For many days after killing Ikemefuna, Okonkwo feels guilty and saddened. Shortly after Ikemefuna's death, things begin to go wrong for Okonkwo. His sickly daughter Ezinma falls unexpectedly ill and it is feared she may die; during a gun salute at Ezeudu's funeral, Okonkwo's gun accidentally explodes and kills Ezeudu's son. He and his family are sent into exile for seven years to appease the gods he has offended. Part 2[ edit ] While Okonkwo is away in Mbanta, he learns that white men are living in Umuofia with the intent of introducing their religionChristianity.
As the number of converts increases, the foothold of the white people grows and a new government is introduced. The village is forced to respond with either appeasement or resistance to the imposition of the white people's nascent society.
Part 3[ edit ] Returning from exile, Okonkwo finds his village changed by the presence of the white men.
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After a convert commits a heinous act by unmasking an elder as he embodies an ancestral spirit of the clan, the village retaliates by destroying a local Christian church. In return, the leader of the white government takes Okonkwo and several other native leaders prisoner and holds them for a ransom of two hundred cowries for a short while. The white ruler further humiliates and insults the captives, doing things such as shaving their heads and whipping them.
As a result, the people of Umuofia finally gather for what could be a great uprising. Okonkwo, a warrior by nature and adamant about following Umuofian custom and tradition, despises any form of cowardice and advocates war against the white men. When messengers of the white government try to stop the meeting, Okonkwo beheads one of them. Because the crowd allows the other messengers to escape, and does not fight alongside Okonkwo, he realizes with despair that the people of Umuofia are not going to fight to protect themselves — his society's response to such a conflict, which for so long had been predictable and dictated by tradition, is changing.
When the local leader of the white government comes to Okonkwo's house to take him to court, he finds that Okonkwo has hanged himself to avoid being tried in a colonial court. Among his own people, Okonkwo's actions have tarnished his reputation and status, as it is strictly against the teachings of the Igbo to commit suicide. He has three wives and ten total children, and is a brave and rash Umuofia Nigerian warrior and clan leader.
Unlike most, he cares more for his daughter Ezinma than his son Nwoye whom he believes is weak. Okonkwo is the son of the gentle and lazy Unoka, a man he resents for his weaknesses. Okonkwo strives to make his way in a culture that traditionally values manliness. As a young man he defeated the village's best wrestler, earning him lasting prestige. He therefore rejects everything for which he believes his father stood: Unoka was idle, poor, profligate, cowardly, gentle, lazy, and interested in music and conversation.
Okonkwo consciously adopts opposite ideals and becomes productive, wealthy, brave, violent, and opposed to music and anything else that he regards as "soft," such as conversation and emotion.
He is stoic to a fault. He is also the hardest-working member of his clan. Okonkwo's life is dominated by fear of failure and of weakness—the fear that he will resemble his father.
Ironically, in all his efforts not to end up like his father, he commits suicide, becoming in his culture an abomination to the Earth and rebuked by the tribe as his father was Unoka died from swelling and was likewise considered an abomination. Ekwefi is Okonkwo's second wife. Although she falls in love with Okonkwo after seeing him in a wrestling match, she marries another man because Okonkwo is too poor to pay her bride price at that time.
Two years later, she runs away to Okonkwo's compound one night and later marries him. She receives severe beatings from Okonkwo just like his other wives; but unlike them, she is known to talk back to Okonkwo.
She is the only one who has the audacity to knock on the door of his obi at dawn. Having met with the grave misfortunes of the deaths of her first nine children, she is a devoted mother to Ezinma, whom she protects and loves dearly.
When Chielo, a priestess of Agbala, the Oracle of the Hills and Caves, says that the oracle wishes to see Ezinma, Ekwefi follows the priestess through the dark woods and even makes up her mind to enter the cave where Agbala resides and to die with her daughter if need be. Okonkwo looks for them and goes to the mouth of the cave himself after waiting for a certain period, because he too was very worried about Ezinma and Ekwefi even though he had kept this worry to himself.
Upon finding Ekwefi, he was very relieved and they both waited for Ezinma. Unoka is Okonkwo's father, who lived a life in contrast to typical Igbo masculinity. He loved language and music, the flute in particular.
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He is lazy and miserly, neglecting to take care of his wives and children and even dies with unpaid debts. Okonkwo spends his life trying not to become a failure like his father Unoka. Nwoye is Okonkwo's son, about whom Okonkwo worries, fearing that he will become like Unoka. Similar to Unoka, Nwoye does not subscribe to the traditional Igbo view of masculinity being equated to violence; rather, he prefers the stories of his mother. Nwoye connects to Ikemefuna, who presents an alternative to Okonkwo's rigid masculinity.
He is one of the early converts to Christianity and takes on the Christian name Isaac, an act which Okonkwo views as a final betrayal. Ikemefuna is a boy from the Mbaino tribe. His father murders the wife of an Umuofia man, and in the resulting settlement of the matter, Ikemefuma is put into the care of Okonkwo. By the decision of Umuofian authorities, Ikemefuna is ultimately killed, an act which Okonkwo does not prevent, and even participates in, lest he seem feminine and weak.
Ikemefuna became very close to Nwoye, and Okonkwo's decision to participate in Ikemefuna's death takes a toll on Okonkwo's relationship with Nwoye. Ezinma is Okonkwo's favorite daughter, and the only child of his wife Ekwefi. Ezinma, the Crystal Beauty, is very much the antithesis of a normal woman within the culture and Okonkwo routinely remarks that she would've made a much better boy than a girl, even wishing that she had been born as one. Ezinma often contradicts and challenges her father, which wins his adoration, affection, and respect.
She is very similar to her father, and this is made apparent when she matures into a beautiful young woman who refuses to marry during her family's exile, instead choosing to help her father regain his place of respect within society. Obierika is Okonkwo's best friend from Umuofia.
He is a strong and powerful man in Umuofia, but unlike Okonkwo, he is a reasoning man and is much less violent and arrogant. Obierika often talks Okonkwo out of making rash decisions, and helps Okonkwo when he is on exile from Umuofia.
He fully understands the changes going on in their society, and that their clan no longer had the unity it did before the white man appeared in Umuofia. Obierika's son, Maduka, is greatly admired by Okonkwo for his wrestling prowess, which in Okonkwo's opinion is something his own son, Nwoye lacks.
As his evening meal is served by daughters of each of his wives, Okonkwo acknowledges to himself how especially fond he is of his daughter Ezinma. As if to offset his soft feelings, however, he scolds her twice while she sits waiting for him to eat.
Analysis Chapter 4 repeatedly illustrates Okonkwo's volatility — his readiness to explode into violence at slight provocations. His feelings often differ from what he says or does. Although the people of the village respect him and his accomplishments, he does not quite fit in with his peers, some of whom disagree with his treatment of less successful men.
Okonkwo does not even enjoy the leisurely ceremonial feast as others do. His impatience with the festivities is so great that he erupts. He falsely accuses one of his wives, beats her, and then makes an apparent attempt to shoot her. Further evidence of his violent nature is revealed when he moves his feet in response to the drums of the wrestling dance and trembles "with the desire to conquer and subdue.
His stubborn and often irrational behavior is beginning to set him apart from the rest of the village. In contrast, Okonkwo exhibits feelings of love and affection — his first encounter with Ekwefi and his fondness for Ezinma, his daughter. However, Okonkwo considers such emotions signs of weakness that betray his manliness, so he hides his feelings and acts harshly to conceal them. The amount of detail included about the Feast of the New Yam, just before the annual harvest, underscores how closely the life of the community relates to the production of its food.
The description of household preparations for the festival reveals two significant issues about Igbo culture: The roles of women and daughters to keep the household running smoothly and to prepare for special occasions even though they can hold positions of leadership in the village.
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The insignificant impact a wife beating and a near shooting have on family life, as if violence is an acceptable part of day-to-day life in the household. For the first time in the story, Achebe mentions guns. Because of an outgrowth of Igbo trade with the rest of the world, Western technology actually arrived in the village before the Westerners did.