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Okonkwos' Tragic Life

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Okonkwos' Tragic Life

Okonkwo, in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, was faced with many hardships in his life. When growing up he had to deal with a lazy father, then when he was older he had to kill a boy that called him father, and he also accidentally killed a young boy from his village. These events played a very tragic role in Okonkwos life.

Okonkwo's father Unoka "was lazy and improvident was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow." Unoka owed everybody money and whenever he had money he would spend it on palm- wine. "He was poor and his wife and children had barely enough to eat." Okonkwo was very ashamed of his father when he died because he not taken any titles and he was heavily in dept. Okonkwo did not want to be like his father so he worked very hard and at a young age he was a wealthy farmer and had two barns full of yams, and he had married his third wife. Not only that but he had two titles. This was a very tough task but Okonkwo managed to do it and the villages looked up to him.

Another tragic event that Okonkwo had to go through in his life was when he became attached to a boy that he had taken in when Udo's wife was murdered. The boy was given to Okonkwo and a virgin was given to Udo from the tribe that killed Udo's wife so they wouldn't have to go to war. After three years the boy, whose name is Ikemefuna, still missed his family but was beginning to feel at home. The boy even thought of Okonkwo as his father. One day a group of elders decided that Ikemefuna should be killed. So Okonkwo told Ikemefuna that he was going home and Okonkwo and the some other men started walking through the woods with Ikemefuna. When they got deep into the woods the men decided it was time and Okonkwo dropped to the back of the pack so he wouldn't have to witness the killing. As they were walking one man "raised his machete, Okonkwo looked away. He heard the blow... He heard Ikemefuna cry, "My father, they have killed me!" as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down." Okonkwo did this because he did not want to be thought of as weak. This as you can imagine would be very tragic but Okonkwo had such a fear of weakness that he killed the boy that called him father.




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