Okonkwo As A Protagonist Essay, Research Paper
Okonkwo as Protagonist
All stories have a protagonist, which is a person or place that the story focuses on and gives special traits. In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart , the story follows the life and actions of Okonkwo. As the story progresses, the reader becomes most intimate and learns a great deal about Okonkwo. Okonkwo acts as the protagonist in Things Fall Apart because he appears to be a very strict father and husband, by showing loyalty to his village, and by working hard.
The first reason that Okonkwo acts as the protagonist is because he is a strict father and husband. In the Nigerian culture it is a custom for a man to be strict and harsh in the ruling of his family. For example, in the story Okonkwo says, “I will not have a son who cannot hold up his head in the gathering of the clan. I would sooner strangle him with my own hands.” This is showing that Okonkwo is so strict that he would threaten his own son, maybe even strangle him rather then let him grow up weak.
Another reason that Okonkwo is the protagonist inThings Fall Apart is because he shows loyalty towards his village. He fights skillfully and bravely in order to defend his village. When Okonkwo has his fill of the invading British, he risks his life by killing the head messenger, who is attempting to brake up a traditional Umuofian meeting. This shows that he has loyalty for his village by sacrificing himself and killing one of the messengers but letting the rest of them go so that Umuofia would not go to war.
Okonkwo is also a very hard and dedicated worker. For example, following the harvest, “The only work that men did at this time was covering the walls of their compound with new palm fronds. And Okonkwo had already done that. He had finished it on the very day the locusts came.” This makes it evident that Okonkwo works hard and does not procrastinate .
In Things Fall Apart, Achebe excellently portrays a typical African village during the British invasion. With the character Okonkwo, he expresses the feelings of many Africans of the time period. It is for this reason that the book Things Fall Apart is a modern classic.