That year the harvest was sad, like a funeral, and many farmers wept as they dug up the miserable and rotting yams. One man tied his cloth to a tree and hanged himself. Okonkwo remembered that tragic year with a cold shiver throughout the rest of his life. It always surprised him when he thought of it later that he did not sink under the load of despair. He knew that he was a fierce fighter, but that year had been enough to break the heart of the strongest lion (Achebe 2947).
"Since I survived that year," he always said, "I shall survive anything."He put down his inflexible will.His father, Unoka, who was then an ailing man, had said to him during that terrible harvest month: "Do not despair.I know that you will not despair. You have a manly and a proud heart. A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride.
It is more difficult and more bitter when a man fails alone."(Achebe 2947) Achebe's work, Things Fall Apart, is an epic; it resembles stories about heroes in many cultures.In these stories, the heroes are extraordinary individuals, whose careers and destinies are not theirs alone, but are bound with the fortunes and destinies of their society.They become heroes by accomplishing great things for themselves and their communities, winning much fame as a result. Okonkwo fits this pattern. In Umuofia, a man is judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father.In Umuofia achievement is revered. Okonkwo wished to be revered by all as a man of great wealth, power, and control, the exact opposite of what his father had become.Unoka was a failure, a loafer, and people laughed at him. This would bring great shame to any man as it did for Okonkwo.For this reason, he rejected everything for which he believes his father stood.Okonkwo believed his own father to be a hindrance to his success and a model of what not to be…
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