Relations among Secondary Characters

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Relations among Secondary Characters

Relationships Among Secondary Characters

In the book Things Fall Apart, many relationships are developed with secondary characters and Okonkwo, the protagonist. The quality of these relationships give the reader more insight to not only Okonkwo's personality, but defines the importance of the development of his character.

Things Fall Apart

In the book, Uchendu acts as a foil to Okonkwo. Uchendu is very stable in many aspects of his life and proves to be a very wise man whereas Okonkwo experiences instability in almost all aspects of his life such as his power, relationships, and his life plans. Uchendu offers Okonkwo advice about maintaining his family and how to gain his life back. Uchendu gives meaningful advice in Chapter 14 when he states, “It's true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother's hut…Is it right that you, Okonkwo, should bring to your mother a heavy face and refuse to be comforted? Be careful or you may displease the dead..".

Okonkwo and Uchendu

The relationship between Okonkwo and Ikemefuna is a bit ironic because Ikemefuna is like the son that Okonkwo never had. Although Okonkwo has a son, Nwoye, Ikemefuna is the definition for Okonkwo's "perfect son" in terms of life goals, characteristics, and abilities. Okonkwo cared about Ikemefuna but he could never show his love towards him or he felt that he would be seen as weak. 'He could fashion flutes from bamboo stems... Even Okonkwo himself became very fond of the boy - inwardly of course...But there was no doubt that he liked the boy...he allowed Ikemefuna to accompany him,like a son...And, indeed, Ikemefuna called him father." (pg.28)

Okonkwo and Ikemefuna

Enzinma is Okonkwo's favorite child, as she is constantly showered with favoritism and privileges that none of the other children receive. Okonkwo often states that Enzinma should have been a boy, and by this in his own way he shows that she has favorable characteristics and displays Okonkwo's idea of a "perfect child".' And after a pause she said: "Can I bring your chair for you?""No, that's a boy's job." Okonkwo was specially fond of Ezinma.'(pg.44)

Okonkwo and Ezinma

Okonwo and Obierika Obierika serves as a character foil to Okonkwo, even though they are best friends. Throughout the book, Obierika displays his morals and his wise traits compared to Okonkwo's hardheaded and stubborn character. On page 46, Obierika says to Okonkwo, “’You worry yourself for nothing […] the children are still very young’” (page 46). We see Obierika as Okonkwo's voice of reason and how his character contrasts from Okonkwo's character.

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Okonwo and EkwefiAlthough Ekwefi may have the hardest head out of all of the wives, the reader can see that she is a very strong-willed woman who is not afraid to challenge anything. Because of her boldness and strength irritate Okonkwo and her daring actions often result in a beating from Okonkwo. At first, Ekwefi fantasized about becoming Okonkwo's wife after seeing how strong and talented at wrestling he was. As time went on, Ekwefi saw how he used his amazing strength on his wives and children to provoke fear and respect in his household. From being infatuated with Okonkwo and desperately wanting to be with him to almost hating him, Ekwefi becomes unsure of her love towards him.“Okonkwo turned on his side and went back to sleep. He was roused in the morning by someone banging on his door. ‘Who is that?’ he growled. He knew it must be Ekwefi of his three wives Ekwefi was the only one who would have the audacity to bang on his door.” (75) It is evident that Ekwefi is not afraid of Okonkwo and that she very daring. Instead of beating her for awakening him, he accepts her because he recognizes her fearlessness..


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