Achebe explores the concept of one's chi throughout his classic novel Things Fall Apart by examining Okonkwo's fate. While the concept of chi can be interpreted in several different ways, it can be defined as one's personal god, which is determined by a person's positive or negative fortune. One's chi is also connected to their willpower and internal energy. In chapter four, Okonkwo disturbs the Week of Peace by beating one of his wives, which upsets the clan's elders. Okonkwo is forced to give a sacrifice to appease the gods, and Achebe writes,
His enemies said his good fortune had gone to his head. They called him the little bird nza who so far forgot himself after a heavy meal that he challenged his chi. (23)
According to this quote, one can challenge their chi, or personal god, in an act of hubris. Although Okonkwo's chi is initially described as positive, his arrogance and pride seem to oppose his chi. As the story progresses, Okonkwo remains callous, aggressive, and arrogant, which negatively affects his chi and leads to tragedy. Therefore, the well-being of one's chi seems to be connected to the practice of humility and gratitude. If one challenges their chi, they risk experiencing bad luck like Okonkwo.