Okonkwo's Suicide As An Affirmative Act: Do Things Really Fall Apart?

Alan R Friesen


Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart has traditionally been considered to be a tragic figure caught up in a fate that he cannot avoid, the end result of which is his suicide. This paper takes a different approach, that his suicide was not the result of a failure to adjust to a new worldview, but an act of rebellion designed to remind his people of their traditions in the face of impending colonisation. This has the effect of empowering Okonkwo rather than allowing him to be viewed as a powerless and passive character. In essence, Okonkwo's suicide is not an act of shame at the failure of his people to resist, but an act of rebellion encouraging his people to resist against the colonial invaders.


Chinua Achebe; suicide

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