Virtues of Okonkwo

Virtues are traits which are considered to be good, however in the novel Things Fall Apart, written by Chinua Achebe, the main character Okonkwo has many unbalanced virtues. His strict work ethic has often led him to trouble. He is very faithful, but only to his own cause, and he hates anything feminine. The combination of these and many other imbalances in Okonkwo¶s personality led to his suicide. Okonkwo has a strict work ethic that required him to be working at all times, otherwise he would become anxious. Okonkwo is very afraid of becoming like his father, lazy and in debt. During ³Peace Week´ Okonkwo actually beats his wife for cutting a few leaves off of a tree because he needs an outlet for his suppressed anger (38). This persistence led to his suicide, because he knew that the clan wouldn¶t go to war with the Catholics. Secondly, Okonkwo is very religious and faithful, but he often believes in his own cause and not what is truly said. When the priestess tells Okonkwo that Ikemefuna must die, Okonkwo takes it upon himself to kill him even though the priestess tells him that he is not to kill Ikemefuna (61). Okonkwo believes heavily in his own personal gods and customs, but when it comes to listening to other people he often changes the words to his benefit or he simply does not listen. Finally, Okonkwo hates anything that is feminine or reminds him of his father. He hates any person exhibiting the qualities of his father, like his sin Nwoye. He is a sensitive person and for that his father hates him. Also, Okonkwo tries to destroy every feminine thought that enters his mind, leading him to be in an unbalanced state. The fact that he is extremely manly makes him lack many vital feminine traits. Okonkwo is not compassionate, patient, or Caring.

Okonkwo from the novel Things Fall Apart is a strong individual with good virtues, but he is
imbalanced in his personality. The fact that he has held a grudge against his father caused most of the problems. Despite all of his strengths and virtues, Okonkwo commits suicide because he knew his village wouldn t retaliate to the white men. Okonkwo is a victim of his virtues , and if he had accepted all his emotions, he would be very strong person. This novel demonstrates how being a properly balanced person is one of the greatest virtues

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