How does Okonkwo feel about the prospect of returning to his homeland? What are his hopes for the future in Things Fall Apart?

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MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Okonkwo is determined to redeem himself upon his return to Umuofia, but he remains bitter and angry at the seven years he feels were wasted in his exile. He has prospered while in Mbanta, adding several children to his family. However, he knows he could have achieved greater success having stayed in Umuofia. He also considers his mother's clan womanly, and rejects the idea that “Mother is Supreme.” He doesn't understand the balance necessary for happiness and true success, and remains inflexible and focused on personal achievement.

Because of all this, Okonkwo plans a grand return to his village. He has lost his place among the egwugwu, and has missed his opportunity to take the highest titles in the village. Therefore, he decides to build a magnificent compound and initiate his sons into the ozo society. Okonkwo believes he will be held in high esteem, and he sees himself taking the highest title in the clan. However, he has not anticipated the hold that the Europeans will have gained, and the power of the new religion and laws they have brought with them. This will prove his greatest challenge, and ultimately, his downfall.

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