What is Okonkwo's strength and weakness in Things Fall Apart?

Expert Answers
leagye eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Okonkwo is a pillar of strength and stability in his village. He is one of the most industrious members of his community and has amassed a great deal of things: wives, children and yams. He holds wrestling titles and is one of the most respected "high achievers" in the village. However, as a tragic hero, he has a flaw, or weakness, which contributes to his ultimate downfall: fear of appearing or feeling weak. His unrelenting flight from any felt or perceived weakness (affection for others, lack of work ethic, emotion, being unable to stave off the missionaries) leads to his demise.

apettitshaheen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Okonkwo is known as a champion wrestler and manly man. He is hard-working and motivated (unlike his lazy, weak father), and he becomes a wealthy leader in the Ibo tribe. He firmly stands for tribal traditions. He cares deeply for his family, especially his daughter Ezinma. However, living up to his manly reputation becomes Okonkwo's greatest weakness, as he takes out his hatred for his father on his son Nwoye, whom he suspects of being weak. He also makes rash decisions and behaves violently, like when he participates in the murder of Ikemefuna.

teach1052 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Okonkwo's strength is his fatal flaw, upholding life as it has been with no room for change or compromise. To quote a poster I once saw, "if you always do what always did, you will always get what you always got". For Okonkwo, that means a certain death, spiritually, mentally, psychologically and physically.  He cannot bring himself to embrace change because that means death to him so he kills himself rather than change what he believes must never change.

fashionableb1 | Student

Okonkwo is a manly man, fighter, hard-worker, and highly motivated. His weakness is that he is very un-accepting of change, has a short temper, and stubborn.

prettyklaus | Student

the most important fact is:

okonkwo's strength is his guideline to his weaknesses.

roma72 | Student

hsi strength is that he is asstidious and provides for his family. his weeknesses are that he is short tempered, too strict, and doesnt show much emotion except anger.

Read the study guide:
Things Fall Apart

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question