Dissent in Things Fall Apart: The Case of Okonkwo
Abstract: Widely read and discussed author Chinua Achebe (1930-2013) has created dissent in Okonkwo out of the cultural clash between native African and traditional white culture of the archetypal colonialists — the British traders, missionaries and government officers – in his groundbreaking novel Things Fall Apart (1958). From the very outset, Okonkwo is placed as an acute follower of his tribal customs and norms while dissenting against everything that disagrees with his Igbo heritage. This study aims to ascertain the route of a dissenter by rationalizing Okonkwo’s suicide as an act of ultimate rebellion to remind his people of their traditions and to inspire resistance in the face of impending colonization. The study intends to show Achebe’s projection of Okonkwo as a gradual uprising dissenter, setting up other characters like Unoka, Nwoye, and Obierika and their deeds as a foil to Okonkwo. Through Okonkwo’s resistance, the author insightfully claims that the fall in the title is not the fall of a dissenter, but the rise of an undying rebellious spirit who embraces death instead of accepting British subjugation.
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Published in 2017