Homework Help

Describe Okonkwo. What type of person is he?

user profile pic

virginia21 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 1, 2008 at 1:55 PM via web

dislike 1 like

Describe Okonkwo. What type of person is he?

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 1, 2008 at 4:08 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

Okonkwo is a man who looks ferocious on the outside but on the inside he is full of fear. His main fear is being thought of like his father, a man who was seen as weak and lazy by his tribe. Many of Okonkwo's actions can be traced back to this fear. Okonkwo hates gentleness, laziness, inaction and overt actions of sentimentality. He doesn't allow himself to enjoy life, his wives, his material success or his children. He rules his family harshly and even beats one wife. He acts like a very proud man and pushes himself to be the best warrior in his tribe. But underneath all of his accomplishments and pride, there is always a fear that he might turn out like his weak father. Thus,many of his actions in the novel belie the idea that Okonkwo is truly brave when in fact his bravery is a cover-up for the shame of his heredity.

Sources:

user profile pic

jess1999 | TA , Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted December 6, 2014 at 5:45 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

Okonkwo is someone who is very commanding, wanting everything to go his way. His quality of being very commanding though came from his insecurities as a child. Throughout his childhood his father was known as a failure throughout the village, thus making Okonkwo want to be nothing like him. These insecurities and thrive to be perfect makes Okonkwo's outward appearances seem very commanding, ferocious, ruthless, etc... Throughout the book, we can see two sides of Okonkwo. One side is the commanding, ferocious, ruthless side, the other is the caring, understanding, insecure, and faithful side. While reading the book you can definitely see the conflict between these two sides of him. Overall on the outside Okonkwo is very powerful and ferocious on the inside though he is insecure and understanding.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes