Okonkwo from “Things Fall Apart”
Things Fall Apart is a story of a man named Okonkwo who is from the village of Umofia. He was a hardworking man but despite all the hard work he didn’t achieved much in life. His father was a laid back man who was nothing for good and Okonkwo was opposed of his father way of living. He had three wives and was also one among the egwugwu which is considered as the masked spirit of the descendants. He was proved as a person when he was sent as an envoy to the village Mbaino in order to neogotiate for the prisoners, and he brought along with him a boy named Ikemefuna and a virgin girl successfully who was the hostage in Mbaino. Onkonkwo was a prideful, impatient and unsuccessful man whose exterior hides the love for Ikemefuna over his own son Nwoye. His temper was so bad that he used to beat up his second wife during the week of peace and also tried to shoot her with a gun but in vain. This temper of his backfired on him later in the novel.
One day Ikemefuna by the oracle was sentenced to die of the hills and caves and it was Okonkwo who has to kill him eventually. He was very upset by the order but being a prideful man he slayed him. He couldn’t control his rage inside and unintentionally he killed a boy in the tribe which went against the whole tribe and he was sent away as a punishment from the village for seven long years. At this point we see the Christian missionaries entering the village of umafio and took over the village enforcing the black natives to follow the path of Christianity. At first the natives resisted but later on they got influenced and Nwoye, Okonkwo’s son also adapted the religion of Christianity.
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And when finally Okonkwo returned after his exile he saw the compete change of faith and religion by the natives and got angry and thus he and some more natives refused to follow the Christian religion. Things went bad when missionaries tried to unravel the egwugwu which caused complete destruction and thus by Mr. Brown, an Englishmen they all were thrown into prison. The whole tribe got disturbed and in that madness Okonkwo hanged himself and his world seemed like it has fallen down when other tribal people refused to bury him or cut him down because it was a violation of goddess earth. His friend Obierika explained his tragedy in words like “that man was one of the greatest men in Umuofia. You drove him to kill himself; and now he will be buried like a dog” (Achebe14). Therefore his death was a symbolism of power and pride that lead to self-destruction of the whole Igbo tribe.
Kanthapura is a novel which tells the story of a village in south india named as kanthapura. The novel begins where an old grandmother named Achakka narrated the story of a young boy named Moorthy and his village. Rao clearly depicted the divided caste system in the village as Brahmins, Sudras and Pariahs who where marginalized in the society by Brahmins. The village despite having the caste issue was united and had harmony under the deity called Kenchamma. The protagonist of the novel Moorthy is from a Brahmin family who one day built a temple where every caste people worshiped and all the festivals were celebrated there.
A traditional form of storytelling that is Hari-Kathas was performed in the village. One fine day a man names Jayaramachar narrated the philosophy of the Gandhian ideals and was arrested as his storytelling had the political propaganda. And this was the time when Moothry leaves for the city and there he got intrigued by the philosophy of Gandhian philosophy through teachings or literature. He got so keen of Gandhi’s ideals that he stopped wearing foreign clothing and started wearing khadi clothes as a tribute to him which backfired him in a bad way. The swami who was the follower of English government ex-communicated Moorthy in the village.
After that he started living with Rangamma and he followed the path of Non-Violence introduced by Gandhi and took part in India’s Freedom Struggle. The English government feared the leadership of Moorthy and therefore accused him of raising violence and arrested him. While Moorthy was serving his imprisonment the women of the village took control of the Struggle for Freedom. And the day came when, Moorthy got released and came out as stronger and took part in Dandi March. The village was instilled with the feeling of patriotism and craved for peace again. Because of the Dandi March, Satyagrhis were arrested and women were constantly treated viciously and this disturbed the whole environment of the village Kathapura “Brothers, in the name of the Mahatma, let there be peace and love and order. As long as there is a God in Heaven and purity in our hearts evil cannot touch us. We hide nothing. We hurt none. And if these gentlemen want to arrest us, let them. Give yourself up to them. That is the true spirit of the Satyagrahi.”(Rao120).