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In a setting like this, Okonkwo's stammer is a tragic flaw.
Also offensive is when the narrator compares a native who was helping navigate the boat to a "dog in breeches." There is no end to the ways this is an irritating passage.
Conrad's portrayal of the Africans as savage and uncivilized is part of what prompted Achebe to write his eloquent novel.
Wright claims that to the rest of his people, Okonkwo's recklessness and fanaticism is embarrassing.
This is not as evident in the first 2/3 of the book, but in the modern narrator's voice, it becomes clearer how out of touch Okonkwo really is.
Wright claims this is a phrase used in "this particular African society" to describe someone like a tragic hero, " who is most unlike his community but who, through his great strength and his ability to do more than it has ever asked of him, and set examples it does not require, belatedly becomes its representative"(Wright, 79). While he certainly fits the other qualifications of a "great man," Okonkwo only seems to be unlike the community at the end, once everyone has adapted and changed.
So how is Okonkwo related to the end of traditional Umofian society?It is when he is separated from these values and sent to his mother's land that marks the end of his way of life."In general terms, Okonkwo acquires his heroic and tragic status by becoming alienated from the very values he espouses and uses to engender himself." (Gikanki, 39)Okonkwo's tragic flaws Umofia is a nation that definitely treasures loquacity.And as for his strict adherence to tradition, that is not quite true.Sure, he does follow the order to kill Ikemefuma-even when he is given a loophole to escape through, pointed out by Obierika-but he also disrupts the Week of Peace and Achebe writes that " Okonkwo was not the man to stop beating somebody half-way through, not even for fear of a goddess" (Things Fall Apart, 30).In that scene, he is following his own stubborn will, and not tradition.He kills Ikemefuma not because the system is flawed, but because he does not want to appear weak like his father.But not everyone sees the book as narrated by two distinct voices.It can also be seen as having a single narrator, whose tone changes and adapts over time."If things fall apart is first a story of the disintegration of a traditional African society, it is also the personal tragedy of a single individual , whose life falls apart in the midst of that same process." (Booker, 69) But does Okonkwo fall because he represents the values of a culture that is disappearing, or because he deviates from that society's' norms?Umofian society is very flexible; they compare their actions to those of their neighbors, always questioning and adapting. In fact, he is so adverse to changing that he cannot even accept it in anyone else.