isOkonkwo was well known through out the nine villages because of his achievements in the tribe. Okonkwo had a great fear of becoming like his father. This had a rather large impact on his life and how his personality. Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, was a lazy man whereas Okonkwo was a hard worker, Okonkwo ruled his house with a heavy hand and he was a man of war.
Okonkwo’s father was a man who was not looked up to through out the village. This was because he was a man who was lazy and would not think of the future. On page 3 it is stated, In his day he was lazy and improvident and was quite incapable of think about tomorrow.’ As a result of Unoka’s lifestyle, Okonkwo despises a lazy lifestyle. Okonkwo’s life is all about hard work and never failing. As it is quoted, He had no patience with unsuccessful men. He had no patience with his father’ (Page 3). Okonkwo had an obsession with working and never giving up. He would work all day until he made sure all tasks were complete before he would go and rest. Page 11 explains, During the plant season Okonkwo worked daily on his farm from cockcrow until the chickens went to roost.’ As it is visible in many sections of this book, Okonkwo has a fear of becoming a failure and this causes him to work as hard as he can. As it is stated above, Okonkwo had no patience with his father, which was due to his fear. Quote: But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness.’ Okonkwo’s fear of becoming like his father was also what drove him to rule his house with a heavy hand.
Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did his little children,’ (quoted on page 10). This quote explains directly how strictly he ruled his household and his family. He was a man who would lose his temper over small things, even if it was not a legitimate reason such as the dead banana tree incident in the following quote (page 28), As a matter of fact the tree was very much alive. Okonkwo’s second wife had merely cut a few leaves off it to wrap some food, and she said so. Without further argument Okonkwo gave her a sound beating and left her and her only daughter weeping.” This example shows just how disciplinary he was in his household.
Okonkwo was a man of war; he was a great wrestler, however, despite his fame for wrestling he had won titles for inter-tribal wars twice. He never wanted to look weak before the tribe. Ikemefuna was like a son to Okonkwo. He called Okonkwo as his father and Okonkwo taught him how to work and do certain things as though Ikemefuna was his son. However, when the time came that the tribe had to kill Ikemefuna, they specifically asked Okonkwo no to participate with the killing because Ikemefuna was like a son to him. Okonkwo did not want to seem weak to the clan so he went along as it is shown in the following quote (Page 44), He heard Ikemefuna cry, “My father they have killed me!” as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his matchet and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak.’ Unlike Okonkwo, Unoka was not a man of war; he could not even handle the sight of blood.
Okonkwo is the person he is because of his father. His father motivated Okonkwo, in an un-wilful way, to work as hard as he could to achieve everything he was aiming for. Okonkwo’s fear of becoming a failure made him the person he is because the thought of becoming like his father made him scared. Therefore he never gave up.