Okonkwo’s Character Analysis Essay Example

“Things Fall Apart” is a story of a man that decides that he doesn’t like what is going on, and tries to fix it in a very unsuccessful manner. He ends up giving up. He could have done other things to fix his problem, but he didn’t. There were other solutions than suicide that would have worked out better. 

“Things Fall Apart” ended in Okonkwo committing suicide, this has many reasons. He kills a messenger that tells them to break up a meeting. He then knows that Umuofia won’t go to war because the rest of the messengers escaped, and nothing happened. This is when he commits suicide. This happens because of a few reasons. He believes that there is no solution to the problems that he is facing. He also believes that there is no honor in being executed by the white men. So he does the only thing that he thinks is a solution, but it is not a very good one. He commits suicide.

There are a few things that we can see that led up to this. One thing that led up to it was Ikemefuna. If he hadn’t been killed then Nwoye wouldn’t have joined the Christians. If Nwoye hadn’t joined the Christians, then Okonkwo probably wouldn’t have felt as much hate and spite towards the Christians. He also had hateful feelings towards the Christians from being held captive by them. “Okonkwo was choked with hate” (Achebe 152). The Christian justice system was also not what they thought was fair, and there was already a justice system in place. The Christians had no place to make all these people that didn’t like this system and the people that they didn’t control be accountable to this new system that they knew nothing about. This also made Okonkwo angry and full of bitterness. Okonkwo felt that he could do nothing about the Christians.


The story would have been different if Ikemefuna had never been killed. If Ikemefuna hadn’t been killed, Nwoye wouldn’t have joined the Christians. If this had never happened then Ikemefuna would have supported Okonkwo after being released from the Christians. If this had happened, then Okonkwo might have never killed the messenger, which would mean that Okonkwo wouldn’t have committed suicide. If Okonkwo hadn’t committed suicide then he might have sturred up his village Umuofia to go to war with the Christians. This war would have devastating effects and many lost lives, but it would free the people from the injustice of the whites taking control of their town. After that, the other villages might rise up to fight. They might have even been able to drive the whites out for good. This would have benefited them, but also destroyed a sense of unity and a lot of their traditions would have been lost. Okonkwo might have still been killed, but at least he didn’t kill himself. He would have also gone down in glory, not in shame.

Even if Ikemefuna had been killed and Nwoye had joined the Christians, Okonkwo still had choices and options. He could have left and created a new town. This would have made it possible to avoid the Christians and their government. This would have been a way to preserve the traditions that they were so fond of. They could start from scratch, and make sure that the Christians never had a say or could even be part of the town. This is a better solution than killing himself. They could have also tried to talk about peace with these Christians. That might not have been the most effective, but it would have been better than suicide.

Okonkwo had other options than to kill himself. He could have not killed Ikemefuna, which would have made it so he hated the Christians less, and would have acted with fewer impulses. He Could have also negotiated with the whites and find an area of peace, this would have also been better than suicide. Or he could have left his town Umuofia and made a different town without the Christians. Any of these other choices would have been better than the one that he made. He could have not committed suicide.

Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. W. Ross MacDonald School Resource Services 

Library, 2018.