Xiong 1 Matthew Xiong Mr. Krueger CIS Introduction to Literature October 8th 2018 Things Fall Apart Essay In the Novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Unoka and Okonkwo are both the main father figures and both end up failures to their own child, however there is reason for why they are the way they are and why they failed. Unoka is the father of Okonkwo, which Okonkwo grows to hate Unoka and becomes the man his father could not be. Okonkwo is the father of Nwoye, which Nwoye also grows to hate, for Okonkwo is a brutal man that hates all signs of weakness and laziness. Both these father figures have a huge impact on how their child perceives them and their reaction to their father’s way of life. As father figures they have great success and great failures, and both have the benefits to be a great and terrible dad by how they are as fathers, what the child’s view on them are, and the differences between Okonkwo and Unoka as father figures. First off, Unoka as a father is a man of words and he is often a very soft man with no title to his name at all except being lazy and rocking his flute all day. Unoka is a father and is not too great at it: “In his day he was lazy and improvident and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow. If any money came his way, and it seldom did, he immediately bought gourds of palm-wine, called round his neighbors and made merry. He always said that whenever he saw a dead man’s mouth he saw the folly of not eating what one had in one’s lifetime. Unoka was, of course, a debtor, and he owed every neighbor some money, from a few cowries to quite substantial amounts.” (Pg 2 Achebe)
Xiong 2 Matthew Xiong Mr. Krueger CIS Introduction to Literature October 8th 2018 Unoka is not doing so well as a farmer and is making a poor performance to provide for his family and we see that Unoka is lazy and it is the source to his situation. Unoka being a broke farmer as well as a debtor, he will take advantage of any money he would get, which is good, however he would spend it on palm wine and celebrate with his neighbors rather than use it wisely like paying his debts. Unoka was able to provide little but at a cost: “Unoka, the grown-up, was a failure. He was poor and his wife and children had barely enough to eat. People laughed at him because he was a loafer, and they swore never to lend him any more money because he never paid back. But Unoka was such a man that he always succeeded in borrowing more, and piling up his debts.” (Pg 3 Achebe) Unoka is a failed his family, he can’t even feed his family too well and is looked down upon the people because he doesn’t take life seriously and they wont even help him anymore because he keeps on borrowing more money and not paying them back. A father is supposed to the exactly opposite when providing for the family, but Unoka is unable to do so because of he lacks work, which sets up what kind of father Unoka is.
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