In what ways were white men responsible for the death of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart?

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kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the end, Okonkwo was the one who decided to kill himself, so it would be difficult to place full or even significant responsibility on the white men.

The white men were pushing an agenda on the Igbo people and it was extremely difficult for Okonkwo to accept, given his enormous drive to succeed based on the tradtional culture and his desire to be the strong man of the tribe.

In the end, as Okonkwo was humiliated by being put in prison and abused by the white man, he had decided that he would try to resist them, he decided that he would take the head off the court messenger.  He saw them as a very real threat to his way of life.  So in this way, the white man put his back up against a wall and contributed to the conditions that led to his death, but it would be difficult to argue that they were responsible for his decision to hang himself.

jess1999 | Student

In reality, Okonkwo was the one that decides to commit suicide, so the white men we're not entirely to blame. The white men though did contribute factors to it. Basically the white men came and influenced their religion onto the Ibo people. They made some of the Ibo people ponder whether or not the religion they believed their whole entire life was real. They even made some people leave the Ibo culture because the white men religion seemed more welcoming. Overall the white men started making the village become less united and that is what made Okonkwo disappointed and angry. 

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Things Fall Apart

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