Fall Of a Great Man

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The Fall of a Great Man Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, is set in the 1890s, during the coming of the "white man" to Nigeria. The story portrays the clash between the white's colonial government and the traditional culture of the Igbo people. The novel is about a very strong man's rise to great prestige, fortune and power which in the end were outweighed by his inevitable death. Okonkwo's demise was not because of colonization, but rather by his obsession with masculinity. Okonkwo's one and only weakness was his fear of becoming a failure like his father. This fear drove Okonkwo to embrace the values of manliness and fueled his desire to be strong; which then drove him to rashness and in the end contributed to his death. Accepting the ways of manhood isn’t a sign of weaknesses, the problem is how narrowly he defines it. Okonkwo was part of a patriarchal society and the male gender was already established with great authority. For Okonkwo, however, any kind of softness and tenderness was a sign of weakness. Throughout the novel we are shown men with a more mature understanding of masculinity, but Okonkwo's ignorance often disallows him to think thoroughly of his actions. At other times; however, Okonkwo's strength was all he had and was the primary factor that controlled his behavior. He could not accept the fact that in a colonized society he would be an average person, rather than a distinguished and powerful male. Okonkwo was one of the strongest and most respected men in his society. Yet, he feared becoming an exact image of his father; therefore, embodying the values of manliness, he took on his own approach to life and how he dealt with problems in society. By adapting to his own deranged idea of masculinity he rejected everything that his father stood for, such as cowardice, gentleness, and laziness. Okonkwo stood for bravery, courage, hard work, and
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