How does Okonkwo's childhold impact his adult life in Things Fall Apart ?

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slchanmo1885 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Okonkwo’s father was a lazy man who did not care about status or wealth. Okonkwo grows up determined to be the exact opposite of him – he wants to be manly and strong, wealthy, and respected. This drives him to be violent and strict with his family, but also a good provider. He is determined that his family never goes hungry and will never be embarrassed by his name. He works hard to create a life from practically nothing. He builds a successful farm and earns many titles in the clan. The embarrassment and shame he felt from what he viewed as his father’s failure during his childhood drives him to try to do the exact opposite as his father in Okonkwo’s adult life.