Describe Okonkwo. What type of person is he?

Expert Answers
ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

jess1999 | Student

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.