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Things Fall Apart (Theme of Fear) Essay

  • Submitted by: ayish626003
  • on July 30, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 751 words

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Below is an essay on "Things Fall Apart (Theme of Fear)" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Okonkwo’s fear Things Fall Apart, written by Chinua Achebe, is a story of a man whose life is dominated by his fears. There are many subtle themes throughout this book. One theme that cries out over the rest is Okonkwo’s, the main character, fear of weakness as seen through his childhood, his oldest son, and eventually his death. Since his childhood, Okonkwo was ashamed of his father, “In his day he (Unoka) was lazy and improvident and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow”(p.4).
By the standard of his clan, Unoka was a coward and squanderer. When he was a child, a boy called Okonkwo’s father an agbala. This word means “woman” as well as a man who has no title. His carelessness left numerous debts unpaid at his death. Ashamed of his father, Okonkwo worked hard and fought well to gain a reputation of high status and influence in his clan. He acquired three wives, one whom gave him his first son. Okonkwo’s first wife, whose name is never mentioned, gave birth to his first son, Nwoye. Okonkwo saw Nwoye weak and lazy from an early age. For this, Nwoye was beaten constantly.
Okonkwo was highly demanding of his family because of his obsession not to be like his father. He mistook this behavior as masculinity. He wished his son were a promising, manly son like his friend Obierika’s son, Maduka, who was also a great fighter. One night the town of Umuofia was told that someone in Mbaino had killed one of their “daughters”. The woman was Ugbeufi Udo’s wife. The blood price for the murder was a virgin and young man to Umuofia. The virgin was given to Ugbeufi Udo as his wife. They did not know what to do with the young boy, Ikemefuna. Okonkwo was asked on behalf of the clan to take care of the boy. Secretly, Okonkwo grew fond of Ikemefuna, “Even Okonkwo himself became very fond of the boy-inwardly of course. Okonkwo never showed any emotion openly, unless it be the emotion of anger”(p.28). Ikemefuna lived with Okonkwo and his family for three years until the time...

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