Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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What causes the downfall of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One could argue that Okonkwo's downfall is directly related to his fear of being viewed as weak or becoming like his inept father Unoka. As a young man, Okonkwo was determined to become a successful, masculine warrior and grow up to be the complete opposite of his father. Okonkwo's fear of being viewed as weak and effeminate influenced him to become a callous, violent man. Okonkwo's aggressive, hostile personality leads to several bad decisions, which results in his downfall.

Okonkwo's first significant mistake is beating his wife during the Week of Peace, which is considered an offense against...

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wongadeniricha | Student

I dont know

fashionableb1 | Student

Okonkwo's inability to follow the law, forget his past with his father, his anger, and not accepting changes.

atyourservice | Student

Okonkwo is a traditional man who doesn't accept change very well. He also made a couple of other mistakes which led to his downfall for example: Beating his wife during the peace weak where violence is not condoned, he accidentally killed the son of the man whose funeral he was attending, which led to him being banished to his mother's lend for several years, and while he was away the church and colonists took over. When he came back to Umuofia things were no longer the same, yet he tried to fight back while others had already accepted their fate, leading to his arrest and finally the death of a messenger which was the last action he committed before his death.

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