Chinua Achebe's work in things Fall Apart is didactic. He teaches so many lessons. He develops the character Okonkwo through hard work effort. He shows what can happen to a person who becomes obsessed with hard work. While working hard is important, Okonkwo takes it to the extreme. He can never relax for fear he will turn out just like his lazy father, Unoka.
Achebe reveals that abuse often stems from obsession. Okonkwo abuses his wives and children for not working as hard as he does. His family lives in fear of him.
Okonkwo learns that he is not in control of his emotions too often. He has anger issues that stem from his childhood. Having to grow up with a lazy father has left Okonkwo bitter and determined to reverse the curse. His greatest fear happens by the end of the story. He hangs himself and dies without honor and proper burial, just as his father died without proper burial. Achebe teaches the reader that there needs to be balance between work and play. Life can be taken too lightly or too seriously.
In the end, Okonkwo cannot control the members of his village. For this reason, he cannot bear to live. Because of his obsessive control issues, he takes his own life. He ends up a failure just like his father. All of his hard work did not save him.