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How did Okonkwo change in the novel "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe?

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luvrbaby12 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 20, 2009 at 11:22 PM via web

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How did Okonkwo change in the novel "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe?

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

Posted April 5, 2009 at 10:20 AM (Answer #1)

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The problem for Okonkwo is that he is unable to change and that is what brings on his destruction. Okonkwo grew up being embarrassed by his father who was not considered a successful man in Igbo society. He was more interested in playing music than being a successful farmer and he had earned no titles. Okonkwo is ashamed of his father and spends his entire life trying to live up to the image of a successful man in his society. Even when he is forced to go to Mbanta to learn more "feminine" virtues, he clings to his image of what a "real" man should be. When he returns to his home and the culture has changed as a result of the coming of the white man. Okonkwo is unable to change his image of manhood in order to survive in the new society. Eventually, he is driven to murder and then suicide because he cannot change.

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