Things Break Down by Chinua Achebe- 5 Meaningful Quotes Revolving Around Okonkwo
In the essay Things Break down by Chinua Achebe, there are 5 significant quotes that focus on Okonkwos status during his life. In the beginning of the unique Okonkwo became a vital part of his town early in his life when he defeated Amaline the Cat in a wrestling match. His victory made him a celebrity amongst the 9 villages of Umuofia because Amaline had actually been unbeaten for seven years. At this point, Okonkwo started on the course to high social status amongst his village, which was his objective throughout his life.
The very first quote that the storyteller metaphorically explains is how excellent status can be achieved at a young age, Age was appreciated among his people, however achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a kid washed his hands he could eat with kings. Okonkwo had actually plainly washed his hands therefore he consumed with Kings and elders. (Chapter 1 Pg. 8) This quote suggests that Okonkwo worked extremely hard at a young age to be able to eat with the seniors. Age respected among his individuals implies that the older an individual is, the more regard he will obtain.
However, Okonkwo was not old at all so he concentrated on obtaining that same respect through methods of achievements. Thus by obtaining much honor at a young age, Okonkwo will gain much more value as he gets older. So when Okonkwo was older, the elders of Okonkwo’s town held him in reverence. Due to his place in society, they delegated him with the life of a boy compromised to them by the individuals of a neighboring village as a peace offer. Although Okonkwo has actually reached a high place in his community, this quote also exposes that Okonkwo made every effort to become a man as quick as he might therefore he needs to have not had much of a childhood.
This could also explain why Okonkwo was so extreme towards others including his children and better halves. Nevertheless, the root of his missing childhood was because of his dad. Okonkwos dad was referred to as Unoka. Okonkwo hated his daddy due to the fact that he was a lazy debtor. Unoka might never manage to buy a title for himself or to have more than one wife, therefore he was towered above by his neighbors and his own boy since his primary pleasure was in music and merry-making rather than work, wealth, and warfare. Individuals of Okonkwos town called Unoka an agbala, which is an insult for calling a man a woman.
When Okonkwo heard this term, he was crushed due to the fact that to him that meant that his father (who had no title) was basically a female. That’s when Okonkwo became obsessed with social status and due to the fact that of that fascination; he would do anything to safeguard his image as a strong male in his village. Through his worry of his dads passiveness in life, Okonkwo did everything against what his father did. Hence instead of ending up being lazy and gentle, Okonkwo transformed himself into a hardworking and aggressive guy.
Unoka even looks up to Okonkwo when he has actually obtained regard, “You have a manly and a happy heart. A happy heart can endure general failure because such a failure does not puncture its pride. It is harder and more bitter when a man fails alone.” (Chapter 3, Pg. 25) This reveals that Okonkwo was a fantastic guy certainly. His pride and willpower has actually made him into a real male with a strong heart. Unoka informs his Okonkwo he is strong since Unoka himself is weak and has experienced failing alone.
Using the words harder and more bitter programs that although it is incorrect grammar, Unoka magnifies the expression even further by generally stating if one has actually failed alone, it is very difficult and possibly relatively difficult to return up. Okonkwo promised, maybe not understanding it, that he would never ever become like his father and fail alone, however rather make every effort to be the very best so that when he stops working everyone else around him will stop working as well. Thus whatever Okonkwo could not do was usually not a bad thing to look upon considering that no one else might do much better.
A mans status in Okonkwos town is highly valued. Okonkwo was determined never to do anything his father did. Okonkwo would never ever show weakness or his defects in worry of being viewed as his father. This determination is exhibited when Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna, the young kid that was sacrificed from the other town in order to keep peace. Okonkwo showed terrific interest in Ikemefuna and treated him like his child. Nevertheless, Ikemefuna was boy from another town sacrificed to keep peace, thus soon there came a time when Ikemefuna had to pass away.
The narrator reveals that Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna, The pot fell and broke in the sand. He heard Ikemefuna cry, My daddy, they have actually killed me! as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being believed weak. (Chapter 7 Pg. 61) Although Okonkwo liked Ikemefuna and had much love for him, Okonkwo was required to leave all of his emotions behind in order to kill Ikemefuna and not be seen as a weak guy who could not kill another guy. Okonkwo revealed no mercy as he was blinded by his worry of his daddies submissive mindset.
Oknokwo needed to secure his status as a real warrior in his clan and if he was unable to slay Ikemefuna, then Okonkwo fears that he might be called an agbala similar to Unoka, Okonkwos dad. This quote also reveals that Oknokwo is willing to sacrifice practically whatever in order to keep his high rank amongst his people. For 2 days after Ikemefuna died, Okonkwo did not consume. He was anxious about eliminating the kid, but he attempted to neglect his regret due to the fact that it would not be manly to do otherwise. Okonkwo is still extremely identified to keep his status in his village and does extremely difficult not to reveal his feelings.
Dissatisfied with himself, Okonkwo ponders, “‘When did you end up being a shivering old woman,’ Okonkwo asked himself, ‘you, who are understood in all the nine villages for your valor in war? How can a male who has eliminated five guys in fight fall to pieces due to the fact that he has included a kid to their number? Okonkwo, you have ended up being a lady indeed. ‘” (Chapter 8, Pg. 65) Although Okonkwo is a ruthless guy and unforgiving, he still has his weak points no matter how hard he attempted to eliminate them. This proves that Okonkwo is still a male as simple like any other and that he has sensations under all of his achievements.
In an effort to divert his ideas, Okonkwo went to visit his buddy, Obierika. While they are talking, Okonkwo asks why Obierika did not go with the senior citizens to kill Ikemefuna, and Obierika says that although he respected the Oracle’s instruction to eliminate the kid, he did not want to take part in it. He explains that Okonkwo would have done well to avoid of it, too, because such an action as killing someone who considers you his dad will displease the Earth. Of course Okonkwo did rule out this since he is too consumed with his pride and position in his tribe.
One day in Okonkwos town a male called Ezeudu had simply died. Ezeudu had been such an important male to Umuofia, cannons were shot and rifles fired in his honor. During one such salute, Okonkwo’s gun had exploded and eliminated a young boy in the middle of the funeral crowd. Although Okonkwo’s criminal activity was accidental in nature, he was forced to run away from his house due to the fact that eliminating a clansman was a criminal activity against the earth goddess. Okonkwo took his household to Mbanta. His kinsmen there get them with open arms and assist them reboot their lives and endure the seven years away from home.
Okonkwo appeared beat since living in exile was like beginning all over from scratch. The storyteller puts it as knowledge only obtained when one is young, “It resembled starting life once again without the vitality and enthusiasm of youth, like finding out to become left-handed in old age. “(Chapter 14 Pg. 113) All the work that he had actually put into developing his status among his town was removed now, and he was forced to start again. While preserving status was easy enough, Okonkwo much prove throughout his seven years in exile that he is the best of the best.
The metaphoric quote reveals that Okonkwo is identified to restore or discover however it will be very tough since the majority of his time had actually been invested in preserving that status instead of building it. Nevertheless, although Okonkwo has actually been quite harmed psychologically, he managed to live through the exile and get his family back to Umuofia. Okonkwo regretted his exile primarily due to the fact that it stunted his social growth. Although he grew quickly and prospered in Mbanta, his progress there indicated nothing because it did not increase his stature in his native village.
Okonkwos status was rather centered throughout the book. Through these quotes Okonkwo status is exemplified and his fixation of keeping that high rank is seen. Through the worry of his dads passiveness, Okonkwo was driven to make every effort and attain terrific accomplishments. His determination never faltered as soon as, which is seen especially when Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna. All in all, status is highly related to in Umuofia and without it one is awfully towered above. Source Utilized: Things Break Down, Chinua AchebePublisher: Anchor (September 1, 1994)Language: English