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Parth Patel Eng4U1 4/10/2013 Character Revelation

One deadly Mistake


Things fall apart, a novel that takes place in a tribal region in Nigeria. In the book the author Chinua Achebe sketches a world where violence, war and blood shed exist, but are also balanced with a strong sense of tradition, ritual, and social coherence. The protagonist of the novel, Okonkwo is a self-made man, the powerful leader of his tribe. Unlike his father he wanted to be a successful tribal leader, and make his people proud. Due to his constant fear of failing Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand, his wives especially the youngest lived in the fear of his fury. The short tempered mind of Okonkwo is showed throughout the first six chapters, but the true Okonkwo is reveled near the end of chapter seven. The reader first gets a feeling of the real Okonkwo when he decides to keep the boy they took from another village, because one of Okonkwos men was killed in that village. The boys name was Ikemefuna, when they brought him to their village he was 12 years old. Okonkwo treated Ikemefuna as his own son, and Okonkwos younger son Nwoye treated him as his bigger brother. As this unfolds through chapters one to six, in chapter seven all the tribal leaders get together and warn Okonkwo to do his job, kill the boy he brought from the village. Ikemefuna was supposed to be killed the time

he was brought to Okonkwos village to show other tribes not to mess with his tribe, but Okonkwo saw the age of the boy and decided to delay his death until he could but now the time had come. Near the end of chapter seven he was pressured to kill the person he loved the most, he gave the last blow and killed his own son. After this event Okonkwo has a minor breakdown and does not eat for two days, only drinking wine. He struggles with his personal beliefs, and is ashamed that he is emotionally affected. He ends up becoming closer with his daughter Ezinma, who understands him best; though he continues to wish she had been born a boy. Okonkwo tries to forget the murder of Ikemefuna, but it had always stayed with him somewhere at the back of his mind.

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