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Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe

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In chapter 1 of Things Fall Apart, what indicates Okonkwo's bravery?

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In chapter one of Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo shows he is a brave man when he fights and defeats Amalinze the Cat, the wrestling champion. He also shows courage through his "incredible prowess in two inter-tribal wars."

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In chapter one, Okonkwo shows his courage when as an eighteen-year-old, he fights Amalinze the Cat, who for seven years has been the undefeated champion at wrestling. He's called "the Cat" because his back never touches the earth, meaning that none of his opponents has ever been able to throw him to the ground. However, Okonkwo faces him and throws him down, despite Amalinze being described as a "wily craftsman."

Okonkwo needs and wants to establish a reputation as a brave man early on in life because he is determined to shake the shame of his father's legacy. His father is a man who does not work hard, is not courageous, and dies in debt. If he comes into any money, he immediately spends it on palm wine and partying. People laugh at him because he is lazy.

Okonkwo becomes hardworking and is determined to erase his father's stain. Luckily, men in the village are judged on their own merits and not by what their parents have done, so Okonkwo is able to make his own way. From a young age, he impresses the other men of the village. He achieves wealth early, in addition to becoming famous as a wrestler. He also shows "incredible prowess in two inter-tribal wars," another example of his courage.

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