First off, Okonkwo is afraid to be seen as weak because where okonkwo lived the value of masculinity was , indeed, popular. Okonkwo would do anything to not be seen as powerless; for example, Okonkwo cared for a boy named Ikemefuna and started to love him like a son throughout the three years they had together. Okonkwo’s tribe decided that Ikemefuna should be killed and they asked Okonkwo to do the honors. As he “Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (Achebe pg 61). This indicates how Okonkwo was truly devoted to the value of masculinity because he sacrificed Ikemefuna. Not only did he hurt Ikemefuna but he damaged himself also emotionally and will always be reminded of it. Okonkwo “never showed any emotion openly, unless it be the emotion of anger. To show affection was a sign of weakness; the only thing worth demonstrating was strength” (Achebe pg 28). This demonstrates that the only thing Okonkwo can present to the world were the emotions of anger and strength. Since Okonkwo is the protagonist of the novel Things Fall Apart and is depicted as manliness: He believes that all men should be quiet and that only their emotions can be expressed towards being powerful. However, Okonkwo’s fears got to him and he failed to feel the emotion of being powerful at the end the novel and that lead him to his downfall. Okonkwo’s downfall was very ironic to what he would believe in. He was the one that believe that masculinity produced power but did it really?. Maybe that’s what he thought and he was wrong because if power was produced wouldn’t his people respect him and love him for his great leadership. Though in this case, power was produced but not enough; and, as a result, he killed himself.
Secondly, Okonkwo’s other fear that lead him to his destruction was the thought that he didn’t want to be like his father. Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, was a abomination to the Ibo culture. Unoka was “known in all the clan for the weakness of his machete” because it had been define “according to the strength of his arm” (Achebe pg 17). And to also be in peace with the gods and the ancestors. This establishes that for Okonkwo weakness was not in his agenda and the fear of being weak started by his father. Since Okonkwo saw that everyone started to disrespect his father and began to call him an abomination for not doing his job as to grow crops. This increase the image that he would never want people to think of him like his father. The fact that Unoka was “rotted away above the earth, and was not given the first or the second burial” (Achebe pg 18). This proved that no one actually cared for Unoka and Okonkwo wanted the opposite of what his father was and that meant he wanted to be cared and respected. Unoka’s body rotted in the evil forest; the Evil Forest was were sick men would die and one wouldn’t dare to build a farm their because the land was only reserved for the gods. No one entered the forest because it meant bad spirits. This fear lead Okonkwo to his destruction because he commited suicide and that was a sign of demonstrating abomination. Though who was considered an abomination, Unoka, and that meant that Okonkwo at the end did become his father.