In the story "Things Fall Apart", Achebe has given his main character a name with a hidden meaning, "Okonkwo" implying male pride and stubbornness. Achebe devotes many chapters demonstrating Okonkwo's masculinity. Okonkwo achieves tribal success and recognition burying the unending shame he feels about his father's faults and failures, Unoka. Okonkwo is known for his courage and manliness. Unfortunately, his masculinity gets in his way for developing relationships with others. His nobleness turns to snobbishness. It is a pity that someone depicted to be such a great hero ends up taking himself out in the most cowardly-weakest way - suicide, as seen my both the Christians, and the clan. .
Okonkwo was afraid to show any affection to anyone because he saw it as a sign of weakness. Even when he is advised not to be part of Ikemefuna's murder, he has to prove to everyone that even in the most difficult time his courage will rise. Okonkwo's killing of Ikemefuna did not achieve what Okonkwo wanted; that if the gods want it, he will have it done. It just made him look cold blooded and had not having feelings for anyone. If he really cared for the gods" laws, he would not have beaten his wife on holy week. .
Okonkwo's masculinity does not allow him to accept his son, Nwoye who is sensitive and prefers being with the women. Nwoye strives for Okonkwo's approval by pretending to dislike women's stories and by grumbling about the women folk. Nwoye is a great disappointment to Okonkwo when he breaks into to tears after finding out what is going to happen to Ikemefuna. Okonkwo does not want any sign of weakness near him. Again, Okonkwo is forced to feel shame when Nwoye converts to Christianity. .
Okonkwo mistakes nobility with being a snob. In a clan meeting, he insults a man without a title, Osugo. Okonkwo turns to the man telling him that the meeting is "for men." When the other men agree with Osugo, Okonkwo does a back shift and apologizes.