Why People Behave The Way They Do English Literature Essay?

Literature is one of the topics that makes people analyse and understand why people behave the manner they do and inquiries the concluding behind their actions and it besides allows readers to analyze a piece of work to do their forces judgement, or to state their ain sentiment and in some piece of plants it allows readers to foretell terminations.

I am making my essay on Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I pick this novel because it has interesting subjects such as civilization differences, affinity, and manfulness.

I besides choose this novel because of its manners and some of its subjects are the usage of Proverbss in Things Fall Apart, the manner Achebe portrayed Okonkwo in the novel. Things Fall Apart is an African literature book and this fresh trades with an African society before colonism and during colonism. By covering with an African society at two different times the novel reveals how persons, or a group of people reacts when societies came to reach and the effects of the contact and this was one of the grounds why I choose Thingss Fall Apart.

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Due to these grounds I decided to look into: Is Okonkwo a victim or a scoundrel in the fresh Things Fall Apart? Personally I find this inquiry of import because people tend to bury Okonkwos ‘ great accomplishment when he committed suicide but from this research inquiry I seek to understand why his kin members did non back him up or stand by him when bad luck hit his manner? .

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As a consequence of the inquiry that I mentioned above that is why I seek to understand if Okonkwo was a victim of his ain civilization beliefs or a scoundrel as most people tend to believe he is. I seek to understand this by exemplifying his strengths and failings and besides the manner the writer portrayed him in the novel.


A scoundrel is a individual who plays the chief bad character in a narrative or an in drama, while a victim is person who is enduring for something he/she did non perpetrate. Or person who ‘s enduring from the consequence of jobs or bad ways of life that others caused. Peoples have different reading of Okonkwo. Some believe that he is a scoundrel and others believe that he is a victim of his ain civilization.

The Igbo ‘s civilization tolerated verbal maltreatment in some extent and this caused Okonkwo great agony from his childhood when a friend of his told him that his male parent was an Agbala. This broke him down as a kid psychologically and he decided to detest everything his male parent liked, because he was seen as a failure. This is his first exploitation because the kin called his male parent an Agbala so he tried to turn out his kin incorrect in a bad manner, even though the storyteller said that “ the kin Judgess a adult male by his worth non by the worth of his male parent ” ( Achebe 6 ) . Equally long as they tolerate verbal maltreatment and this can besides interrupt a adult male spirit, so it broke his spirit and he escaped world by detesting everything his male parent loved. So the kin was perchance one of the chief grounds why he hated his male parent and everything he liked. Okonkwo was a victim here because of his milieus, how people perceived his male parent and the shame he felt is now converted to detest towards his male parent.

The fact that the writer introduced Okonkwo so much into his civilization at a really early age of his babyhood shows how much of a victim he was as he mentioned that in adage when Nwakibie said “ If a kid washes his custodies he could eat with male monarchs ” ( Achebe 6 ) . This adage might perchance intend that Okonkwo started believing and following his imposts at a really immature age and he behaved responsibly that is why he was surrounded by seniors. This makes me sympathize with him because he was a kid, ignorant when he was introduced to it, he could non distinguish the rights and incorrect decently so he thought that all he was larning was right because that had been ever the manner. As a consequence of the shame that he was surrounded by great work forces and his male parent was n’t he escapes world by being fierce.

His imposts beliefs victimised him at two different times. When he was immature he hated his male parent Unoka because he did non make their cultural standard definition of “ manfulness ” . When he got older he disinherit his ain boy Nwoye, because his kid inquiries his usage ; foremost when twins were thrown off and this is shown on page 43, because twins were seen as an abomination and than secondly when his male parent killed Ikemefuna. The Igbo civilization did non do much sense to him that is perchance why he rejected his cultural beliefs and followed Christianity. To underscore how much of a victim Okonkwo was the writer uses Nwoye to reject his cultural beliefs, he might hold perchance wanted us to compared Nwoye flight from his civilization beliefs to Christianity and Okonkwo ‘s flight from his fright of being thought weak to aggression. This emphasise Okonkwo exploitation because if the British settlement or an other different civilization came when he was still little, he would n’t hold escape his frights of being thought weak through aggression. This would hold been the instance because he would hold two different civilizations ( societies ) ways of life and this could hold helped him to do the right determination. Here his cultural beliefs made his atomic household to fall apart before even things started falling apart for the full community.

The Ibo work forces respected and believed their Gods and they would make anything to delight the Gods of their lands and their ascendants without looking at worlds, all they cared about was the religious universe.When Okonkwo shot Euzudu ‘s 16 old ages old boy by error, this adult male was one of the oldest adult male in his kin during his life clip and this happen during his funeral. The kin forgot Okonkwo ‘s good services, such as being a great warrior, being the courier of the kin when Umofia had quarrel with his neighbouring small town such as in instance of Ikemefuna. They did non even regarded the rubrics that Okonkwo had achieved so far but they sent him to expatriate merely to delight the Gods and ascendants since it is “ an abomination ”for a kin adult male to kill his kin work forces. When he was sent to exile they did non merely exclude him from his land but they besides burnt his houses, and destroyed the ruddy walls and they besides killed his animate beings.

Looking at this at an anthropological point of position I sympathised with Okonkwo because excepting person from his/her civilization is like doing a different individual out of that individual, because civilization can be defined as the entirety of a people. Excluding person from his/her society like in this instance wo n’t merely draw the single down financially, but its can do a psychological dislocation or even decease if the alterations are tremendous. This can besides warrant his decease because he felt like he was in a wholly different environment. This makes me sympathize with him because his clanswoman sent him to expatriate, because he “ contaminated ” the environment with a kinsman blood. But they did non make much when Enoch killed the sacred python which was a more serious instance.

After seven old ages Okonkwo had returned to Umofia and his land changed drastically the missionaries took control of the land. The new born in the church and small town imposts followings became in great struggles, Enoch the boy of the priest of the serpent cult, had killed and eaten the sacred python. Okonkwo the strong civilization truster wanted the kin to move as they used to by contending the church, but the kin members refused to make so and they believed that their Gods and ascendants could still contend their ain conflicts when Enoch died. This same Enoch besides unmask and killed an Egwugwu, the Egwugwus of Umofia went to the church and destroyed it even though they were told non to make so by Reverend James Smith. Okonkwo was among the leaders who went to destruct the church because they wanted to honour the Egwugwu that was unmask and killed. They did this to delight and demo their Gods that they still cared for them and in return they were put into shame in gaol.

Okonkwo could take no more of this shame and some leaders of Umofia, so they decided to name on a meeting on the small town Ilo to discourse what they are traveling to make following to halt the black sacrilege their Gods and ascendants were enduring. They did non travel long with that meeting when five tribunal couriers were sent to order them to halt the meeting. Okonkwo could non bear this any longer ; he raised his matchet and cut the caput of one of the couriers. As usual Okonkwo played the “ hero ” but this clip no one backed him up because his kin members are allowed other couriers to get away, and they start even inquiring him why he had done such an action. At this point of clip Okonkwo understood that he could no longer suit in Umofia his homeland, the land that he has been so proud of in his full life. He understood that he could no longer suit in it, because the kin that made him a great warrior and the kin that introduced him into force had changed. Before they did non even believe twice if a adult male brought shame or dishonour to their Gods and ascendants like they did when Okonkwo broke the hebdomad of peace, when they obeyed the Gods to kill Ikemefuna, or when Okonkwo polluted the kin by killing a clanswoman. They took drastic determination to delight and obeyed their Gods but now they started believing twice even to travel to a merely and just war when their civilization and Gods were threatened by aliens.

When the Ibo work forces made forfeits to their Gods and ascendant. They prayed for wellness, good life and protection as Unoka did when he received a visit from Okoye the adult male to whom he ain money. I found it ironic that Okonkwo made a batch of forfeits to his Gods and ascendants but they did non protect him as they should because of all his forfeits ; like When he killed a courier they should hold assist them to move as one large household like they used to make. They merely allow them fall apart because they did non endorse up their “ hero ” as they ever do before the British domination. The Ibo work forces besides prayed for good life but Okonkwo life was full of tragic. He went to expatriate, his boy Nwoye rejected him and this besides contradicts their expression of if a adult male says yes his Chi besides agrees and this is shown to us on page 19. Okonkwo said yes steadfastly because of his regular forfeits, the ways he obeyed the Gods and imposts and besides because of his difficult work, but they frequently let him down and when they did it was ever a large calamity illustration when he killed Ezeudu ‘s boy by error and in exile his boy left him.

At that point may be Okonkwo might perchance believe how he served, respected and carried out the Gods will and how he put into pattern the kin imposts. He hated his male parent because he was laughed at by the kin, he lost his boy because he was excessively rough on him because he wanted him to believe like an Umofian boy but he did non. He followed the commissionaires ‘ ways and ceased to be his boy at that minute. He might besides believe why the Gods should hold given him such sort of a boy. He went to gaol and he got disrespect by the tribunal couriers merely to convey back honor to his Gods and he even played the “ hero ” by killing one of the tribunal couriers, yet his Gods did non protect him. Okonkwo decease makes me sympathise with him because he escaped world through difficult work and his usage beliefs. The fact that he relay on his civilization beliefs excessively much he uses their civilization perceptual experience of manfulness as his manner of get awaying his fright or worlds. When he killed a tribunal courier to him it was right because that is how work forces supposed to move, and now that his civilization no longer tolerates force which is portion of “ manfulness ” . He did non hold anything else he could get away his frights that is why he commit self-destruction.

On the other manus other people believe that Okonkwo was a scoundrel because of its characters and the manner Achebe portrayed him in the novel. At the beginning of the novel the writer describes Okonkwo physically as “ he was tall and immense, and his bushy superciliums and broad nose gave him a really terrible expression ” ( Achebe 3 ) . From this description the writer he is try to state us readers that we are covering with a adult male which is chilling physically and he continued stating that “ when he walked, his heels barely touched the land and he seemed to walk on springs, as he was traveling to swoop on person ” ( Achebe 3 ) . “ And he did swoop on people rather frequently ” ( Achebe 3 ) . This description shows that we are covering with a strong and really angry adult male because of the mentioning of he did swoop on people rather frequently. Okonkwo ne’er admits that is incorrect and this shown to us clearly when he broke the hebdomad of peace by crushing up his 3rd married woman Ojiugo. When he was forgiven after doing forfeits he did non acknowledge that he was at mistake, because it is mentioned that “ but Okonkwo was non the adult male to travel about stating his neighbours that he was in mistake ” , on page 20 two.

I found this really dry because Okonkwo was known as the adult male who respected and obeyed the Gods. The writer is connoting that when a adult male makes any forfeits to delight God, person, or the Gods in this instance is because he or she thought about his or her action and admits that he or she is incorrect. That ‘s why he or she makes forfeits to plead for forgiveness, but the writer mentioned that on page 20 two that Okonkwo told his neighbours that he was non at mistake. Even though he broke the hebdomad of peace and convey forfeits to the Gods he did non acknowledge his mistake. This is really dry because he was supposed to obey the Gods and he even said to his boy Nwoye that he would non accept a boy who does non follow the ways of the Gods and their ascendants. This shows that he truly did non care that much about their Gods and ascendants as he claimed he merely wanted people to make things in his manner.

The writer mentioned that Okonkwo ‘s full life was dominated by fright of being thought weak. So Okonkwo was seeking so difficult to be person who he was n’t, this is so bad because when you are seeking to be person else, really they wo n’t be full joy in your life because the truly you is hidden someplace and this affects persons straight or indirectly and it did affects Okonkwo in both ways. Its affect him straight because he could non show his others emotions like love and gradualness towards people because he was afraid to be thought weak. This ended up bad for him because his boy Nwoye ne’er saw the softer side of him this is perchance that is why he ran off and rejected him because he was n’t truly that sort of male parent that he could look up excessively. This fright of failing affects him indirectly because his family was dominated by fright of his choler the married womans did non hold the right to show themselves freely, because they were afraid of him or even if the daring to make they would be beaten or they wo n’t acquire any reply at all. This is shown when his first married woman asked him if Ikemefuna was remaining with them for long he told her “ Make what you are told, adult female ” ( Achebe 10 ) . This shows that his household had deficiency of address because he wanted people to make things his ways and this affected him because he did non cognize what his household thought about him. If a household can non keep a conversation together things will easy fall apart because through conversation people learn from their error and they ever have people who will endorse them up in instance of a job, because they know how they feel and they can advice you every bit good if they sense danger. Since Okonkwo did non do clip to speak and listen to his household that is why he suffered entirely if things went incorrectly.

A big household in most African states before colonialism meant success, power and the most influenced an person was if he or she had a big household. This people frequently have many resources such as big barn and they were large husbandmans. Okonkwo had rather a big household because he had three married womans and more than eight kids. Okonkwo exploited his kids because he wanted them to work the manner he did and everything had to be perfect. In households parents teach their kids what to make so that they can screen out jobs themselves in instance they are non at that place, or if the kid finds himself or herself in a really hard state of affairs. Parents besides understand that each kid has he or her ain personality and they do larn besides otherwise, some might larn faster and the others slower. He ever worries about his boy Nwoye because he was excessively womanish harmonizing to him and he started comparing Nwoye and Ezinma indirectly and he even wished that his girl was a male child. No affair what attempt the male child would make to delight him he would ever mistreat Nwoye by dissing him or threatened him. He did this rather frequently like when him, Nwoye, and Ikemefuna were fixing yams to seed on page 20 three “ Do you believe you are cutting up yams for cooking? He asked Nwoye. If you split another yam of this size, I shall interrupt your jaw ” . This besides shows that he is ne’er satisfied to any attempt work made by person unless it is done the manner he wanted it to be even though he wo n’t demo the emotion that he is at least pleased. He did non merely do that with his boy Nwoye but about with every one. The writer mentioned that his household worked difficult but they dare non to kick. This show what sort of dictator Okonkwo was, all he wanted was his pride he did non care about the others feelings.

Okonkwo understands paternity from one position which is a adult male that can provides nutrient for his full household every individual twenty-four hours, have shreds to do his household proud. He did non truly cognize what it is to be a male parent. Euzeudu the oldest adult male in one-fourth of Umofia warned Okonkwo by stating him ‘that boy calls you father. “ Do non bear a manus in his decease ” ( Achebe 40 ) The adult male who told Okonkwo this was warning him and by stating him this, it was an other manner to state him that you are a father figure to this male child and he is portion of your household. I find this really significance that Ikemefuna had to state “ my male parent, they have killed me! “ , this is shown to us on page 40 three the writer must might hold perchance wanted to demo us how Ikemefuna see Okonkwo as his male parent. Alternatively of Okonkwo merely ticker but he went a caput and killed the male child, this action truly made him a scoundrel because he killed person he loved because he was afraid of being thought weak and this shows us how heartless he was.


As a consequence of his failings and strength I think that Okonkwo is a victim of his civilization beliefs. In the Ibo society a adult male is respected if he had a big household, many relations and if he had rubrics. Their imposts digest force and aggression and they saw this as portion of “ manfulness ” . The writer mentioned that Okonkwo ‘s life was dominated by the fright of being seen weak. The fact that he was afraid of being thought weak and this made him weaker and he escaped his failings or worlds through difficult work and force. This is shown on page 40 five, 2nd paragraph when he said “ if merely he could happen some work to make he would be able to bury ” . The decease of Ikemefuna tortures him, he could non eat or make anything because he was experiencing guilty so if he had something to make he would hold non hold suffer as he was enduring now. This clearly shows how he used work to get away from world and it besides shows that Okonkwo was n’t hardhearted because he was enduring from his action, so he was looking for work to busy his head.

While analyzing this fresh 1 might happen that Okonkwo was one the strongest characters who persisted changed. Okonkwo became stronger and more into his cultural beliefs because his society made him stronger while the punished him. He got stronger because he carried out hard undertaking such as killing Ikemefuna because this male child became portion of his household. We could see that this undertaking was hard for him because he looked off when the adult male who gave the hapless male child the first machete blow and this is shown on page 40 three when the writer mentioned that: “ As the adult male who had clear his pharynx drew up and raised his matchet, Okonkwo looked away ” . He besides felt guilty afterwards because he could non eat for few yearss, some people may reason on this point that no 1 asked him to transport the undertaking. Yes I agree every bit good with those people to some extent, when he went see his friend Obierika, he asked Obierika why he did non came to kill the male child his friend answer he had better things to make. And Okonkwo replied that “ you sound as if you question the authorization and the determination of the prophet, who said he should decease ” ( Achebe 46 ) . When his friend told him that he was n’t asked to make it, Okonkwo replied: “ But person had to make it ” ( Achebe 46 ) . This might perchance demo how much of his cultural truster he was, because the prophet was an intermediate between them and their Gods. Okonkwo has done so many hard things to delight his Gods and to follow his cultural beliefs hence he became the strongest individual, that is why he killed the missional in the topographic point because that is how the Igbo ever reacted when they saw an abomination coming their ways and if their lives and Gods were threatened. His clanswomans did the same thing when he killed Ezeudu ‘s boy they took a determination that they believed it was best for them at the topographic point.

Raising made him the individual he was because the Ibo people saw aggression and force as one of the “ good ” qualities of a adult male. That is why at younger ages immature work forces were introduced to violence through wrestle lucifers. Okonkwo escape his failings and frights through his imposts beliefs. At the terminal of the novel he Okonkwo commits self-destruction likely because his civilization had changed, aggression and force were n’t tolerated any longer, because of new regulations and new political construction that the settlement brought in Umofia. He did non hold anything else to get away to that is why he ended up his life hence I believe Okonkwo was a victim of his civilization beliefs.

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Why People Behave The Way They Do English Literature Essay?. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/why-people-behave-the-way-they-do-english-literature-new-essay

Why People Behave The Way They Do English Literature Essay?

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