Things Break Down Paradox
IB English 15 December 2013 Perfection Destroys The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, initially composed in his native language Ibo, informs the tragic tale of an African pre-Christian tribe seen through the eyes of Okonkwo. Okonkwo ended up being an extremely effective clan leader in his village, by working hard and refusing to be lazy like his father Unoka. Achebe utilizes paradox to motivate character advancement, drive the contrast between Okonkwo’s dreams and his truth as others see him, and explain the culture’s beliefs in the way they deal with ladies vs. the method females are revered.
Throughout the unique, paradox is used to initiative character advancement, especially Okonkwo’s. Okonkwo matured with an extremely lazy father that never ever went throughout his life. Unoka never declared any titles and was continuously in financial obligation to his neighbors up until the day he died (Achebe 3. 12). Okonkwo attempts so tough in his lifetime to prove to himself, the town, and his father that he can make something of himself in spite of his training. Okonkwo frantically attempts to not mirror his daddy and sometimes in doing so, he in fact harms individuals around him.
When Okonkwo sees any weak point in his son, “He would mark out the disquieting signs of laziness which he thought he currently saw in him” (Achebe 4. 32). By attempting so tough to be better than his dad, Okonkwo unwisely leaves all of the great characteristics his father had like gentleness and compassion. Achebe utilizes irony to implement the absurdity of Okonkwo’s disregard of any emotions that make him look “weak”. Achebe composes, “He strolled back to his obi to await Ojiugo’s return. And when she returned he beat her very greatly.
In his anger he had forgotten that it was the Week of Peace” (Achebe 4. 17). Okonkwo’s pride is so crucial to him, that even when he understands he is at fault, he will not own up to wrongdoings. He makes every effort to be an ideal individual yet he ironically views beating his better halves and making them send as really masculine. Okonkwo prides masculinity above a lot of whatever else. Because of this, he likewise tries to show himself by showing the other clansmen in Umofia that he can raise a child to be simply as successful as himself.
When his son reveals signs of being uninterested in tribal meetings, Okonkwo threatens him stating, “I will not have a son who can not hold up his head in the gathering of the clan. I would earlier strangle him with my own hands” (Achebe 4. 33). Any indication of feeling is seen by him as a weak point, and for that reason feminine. Okonkwo makes every effort to be a manly figure but eventually kills himself and is charged with a ladies’s crime. “It is an abomination for a man to take his own life. It is an offense against the Earth, and a male who devotes it will not be buried by his clansmen.
His body is wicked, and only strangers may touch it” (Achebe 25. 15). His whole life has actually been an attempt at being manly and perfect however when it boils down to a clash in between 2 kinds of pride, he would rather kill himself and be charged as a female than let his opponent kill him. It is ironic that Okonkwo struggles for excellence but eventually ruins himself and his loved ones by doing so. Okonkwo extremely appreciates his strong daughter Ezinma however he refuses to acknowledge her far more publically due to the fact that of his culture’s gender guidelines.
Okonkwo puts little respect towards the ladies in his life however ironically loves his child far more than he would ever confess. When Ezinma becomes ill, “Okonkwo returned when he felt the medicine had actually prepared long enough … ‘Bring me a low stool for Ezinma,’ he said, ‘and a thick mat'” (Achebe 9. 77). Okonkwo usually avoids showing indications of strong feeling or attachment and yet not only someone, however a lady, breaks through his hard shell and is able to soften him. Okonkwo is not the only person in his Umofia that disrespects the role of most females.
It is their culture for the women to send to their husbands and function as servants for them. One woman appears to stand above the rest. The Oracle, or the seer who provides prophecies to the tribe, is a woman; yet she is prided over a lot of guys. People originate from all over to hear her prophecies. Unoka, Okonkwo’s father, made a journey to ask the Oracle why his crops kept failing, “‘Every year,’ he [Unoka] said unfortunately, ‘prior to I put any crop in the earth, I compromise a dick to Ani, the owner of all land.
It is the law of our dads. I also eliminate a cock at the shrine of Ifejioku, the god of yams'” (Achebe 3. 6). It is tradition to make animal sacrifices to the earth goddess during the time of harvest. The people of this tribe not only contact and put trust behind a woman to foresee their future and pacify disputes, but they compromise to the earth goddess to communicate respect, in this case to the earth goddess who has control over the success of the yams, and for that reason, their wellbeing.
Okonkwo’s strong character, propensity for enduring through tough times, and capability to climb from nothing would not have the very same impact if they were not coupled with irony. The theme of irony more presses the idea of anguish and loss throughout the book. The town of Umofia is a town built around paradox. The tribe continuously opposes itself with Okonkwo’s rejection to accept his father’s kind and mild methods, Okonkwo’s self-image versus the way he is eventually remembered, and the role of normal females instead of the role their Oracle and goddesses play.