"Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness" - Chinua Achebe, "Things Fall Apart".
Things often begin to fall apart when one's future is directly related to the unfortunate events of the past. In this essay, I will discuss how an Igbo man defines his life based on religion, cultural values and a patriarchal mindset. Writer Chinua Achebe basis his novel "Things Fall Apart" around this idea that one's greatest success comes from a history of failure. Igbo famous wrestler Okonkwo is portrayed in this novel as a man of great accomplishment. Everything that he has ever achieved is a result of his perseverance. Many would say the odds were not in Okonkwo's favor considering he grew up in poverty with a father that possessed many faulty character traits. Where his father failed, he would later succeed. What his father had broken, he had a responsibility to restore. Where his father was weak, he was strong. Achebe discusses the relevance of Okonkwo's character is an interview with Jerome Brooks. .
The Paris Review, gives Achebe a platform to define Okonkwo's character. This character is a tragic hero, while he has done great things, he also has many character deficiencies. He has taken on the burden of his father's past mistakes. In writing this piece of literature, Achebe is the voice for a whole culture of people. Alongside interviews, there have been countless reviews done about "Things Fall Apart." The Washington Post review done by Michael Dirda emphasizes that one should feel a level of sympathy for Okonkwo. Dirda examines the lifestyle of a broken man that is being portrayed in this novel. While the past can be someone's driving force behind their present pain it can also be the very reason why they choose to persevere into the future. .
Weakness comes in many forms, it can be physical, mental or emotional.