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Word Count: 1,169
Okonkwo and Obierika two characters in Chinua Achebes Things Fall Apart are two drastically different people yet they share some of the same qualities and beliefs Okonkwo is stubborn headstrong and rigid Obierika is open-minded thoughtful and expressive Both believe and follow the same religion and attempt to attain honour in their society They are friends that are not afraid to criticize one another or point out each others faults Chinua Achebe uses these two characters to show the many aspects of Ibo culture through different perspectives to give the reader a greater understanding Okonkwo and Obierika two friends could not be more different They are like night and day or Yin and Yang Okonkwo is very rigid closed off and unwilling to accept those he deemed unsuccessful He had no patience for unsuccessful people while Obierika is tolerant open to change and willing to consider other peoples beliefs and ideas Okonkwo is willing to follow his peoples beliefs and values unerringly and without question He also fears that he will be thought weak in the eyes of the tribesmen so he becomes fanatical in appearing the pinnacle of strength and manliness This fanaticism leads him to kill his surrogate son Ikemefuna as it was the will of the Gods He heard Ikemefuna cry My father they have killed me as he ran towards him Dazed with fear Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down He was afraid of being thought weak Okonkwos fears of weakness lead him to do a great many things that ultimately mean his own downfall Okonkwo and Obierikas beliefs often differ When Okonkwo took part in the murder of his son Obierika believed that he was wrong to do so If I were you I would have stayed at home What you have done will not please the Earth It is the kind of action for which the goddess wipes out whole families Okonkwo is
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