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The Tradgedy Of Okonkwo

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The Tragedy of Okonkwo

In the book Things Fall Apart there are many themes. One of the themes is Change, in which Okonkwo faces a lot of. Another theme in this book is how important family is in the Ibo culture. What it means to be a man in the Ibo culture is also a major theme in this book.

Change is one of the biggest themes in this book. Okonkwo goes through a lot of changes for the worse. One example of a change for Okonkwo is when he was exiled for seven years. Okonkwo was exiled because his gun exploded and it shot a boy right in the heart. "It was the crime against the earth goddess to kill a clansman, and a man who committed it must flee from the land." (P.124) Being exiled was a huge change for Okonkwo because he was forced to leave his farm that he worked so hard to build and move to his mothers natal village. The village men killed all the animals and burnt down Okonkwo's whole farm to cleanse the village of his crime. He had to build new huts and a farm for his family, in which he wasn't very happy about. Okonkwo felt as if "He had been cast out of his clan like a fish onto a dry, sandy beach, panting ." (P.131) The major reason why Okonkwo was angry about being exiled was because it ruined the chance of him ever being "lord of the clan," because he killed a clansman.

Another example of how Okonkwo went through change is when the Missionaries came to Mbanta. "Okonkwo grieved. And it was not just a personal grief. He mourned for the clan, which he saw breaking up and falling apart, and he mourned for the warlike men of Umuofia, who had so accountably become soft like women."(P.183) This quote shows how the Missionaries ruined the village, and how things fell apart. "We have been sent by this great God to ask you to leave your wicked ways and false god, and turn to him so that you can be saved when you die." (P.145) This quote says why the missionaries came and what they are were planning to do to the village. Nwoye, Okonkwo's son, left his family and traditions to convert to Christianity and be with the missionaries. When Okonkwo came back to Umuofia the whole village changed because a lot of people had converted to Christianity, and the Missionaries had taken over. This drastically changed Okonkwo's view on life, because his place was taken by someone else and nobody thought he was the best anymore.

Family is very important to Okonkwo. He cares so much about his family because Unoka, Okonkwo's father, "In his day was lazy and improvident and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow." (P) Okonkwo wanted to make a good living and have his children grow up and remember him as a strong



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