Illustration of a person holding their head next to a noose and a detached head

Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe
Start Free Trial

What makes the death of Okonkwo meaningful ?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The death of Okonkwo at the end of Things Fall Apart is important on many levels. On one level, his death is his ultimate act of resistance against the white imperialists. He hangs himself to avoid being imprisoned and, ironically, his body is discovered by local leader of the white...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

The death of Okonkwo at the end of Things Fall Apartis important on many levels. On one level, his death is his ultimate act of resistance against the white imperialists. He hangs himself to avoid being imprisoned and, ironically, his body is discovered by local leader of the white government who has come to take him to court.

However, his death means something very different to the Ibo people. Throughout the novel, Okonkwo's flaw has been his fear of allowing others to see weakness in him. From witnessing his father's laziness and the way others spoke of him, Okonkwo made it his life's mission to be seen as a strong, hard working individual of high status within his tribe. However, suicide is completely taboo among his people and his hanging ruins the reputation Okonkwo worked so hard to create.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team