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Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe

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How do Okonkwo's beliefs compare and contrast with those of Umuofia society?

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One of the most major ways that Okonkwo's attitude coincides with that of the major cultural view of Umuofia is his drive to try and prove his manliness, particularly in contrasting him with his father, who was seen as weak by the tribe.  He works incredibly hard to grow as much as he possibly can, to marry as many wives as he can, to have as many children as possible, and to portray as manly an image as would be humanly possible.

In some ways he could be thought of as a representative of those aspects of his society, but anytime you pick one person to represent an entire group of people you are asking for trouble!  But he certainly embodies for many in the tribe their ideals of the strong and hard-working man.  They might disagree that his violent temper which often gets him in trouble really embodies that which they think is important.

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