Amazing Psychoanalytical criticisms to love in ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Achebe

Psycho-analytical criticism in Things Fall Apart

This theory studies the psychological behaviours of the characters, the reason why they behave the way they behaves. In the novel, the protagonist Okonkwo does everything he does with fear of being a failure. Okonkwo determines to gain titles for himself and becomes a powerful and wealthy man, after defeating. Amalize the cat in a wrestling contest inspite of his father’s weaknesses.

His father, Unoka being a lazy and idle man often borrows money and then squanders it on palm wine and merry making with his friends. Consequently, his wife and children often went hungry. He was consider a failure and a laughing stock within the community.


He was refers to as agbda, one who resembles the weakness of woman and has no property. He later, die a shameful death and own numerous debts which his son later struggles to pay back.

Having been captives with fear of failure not to like as his father, he despises and resents his father’s gentle and idle ways. He resolves to overcome the shame that he feels as a result of his father’s weaknesses, he dominates his wives and children by being intensive and controlling.

This is seen when he violates the week of peace when by beating his youngest wife, Ojiugo, because she went to braid her hair at a friend’s house and forget to prepare the afternoon meal for her children.

This is also seen when he severely beats and shoots a gun at his second wife, Ekwefi, because she leaves from his banana plant to wrap food for the New yam festival.

Furthermore, we see the fear of Okonkwo not to be considered or seen as a failure in the death of Ikemefuna, is a boy who is given to the Okonkwo’s village as piece of offering by neigbouring village Mbano to avoid war with Umuofia.

He was given to Oknokwo to take care of him before the deity decides him fate. Before the announce of sacrificing  the boy, Ogbuefi Ezeudo tells Oknokwo not to partake in the murder of the boy but finally when the day arrives,  he feels that not participating would be a sign of weakness and he kills Ikemefuna with his machete. `


Another psychological effect of fear of being a failure in the life of the protagonists is seen after his return from exiles in his maternal him Mbanta. Okonkwo covers that most of tilted men were no converts neglecting their titles including his son.

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He becomes dispointed with his clan on how they succumb so easily without any attempt to resist them or fight them. He reacted to prove himself not being weak when they were on a clan meeting and it was interrupts by the Whiteman’s five court messengers and Okonkwo became angry and jumps forward and beheads the man in charge of the messengers with his machete.

When he realizes that none of the other clansmen attempt to stop the messengers with him, he discovers that they will never go for war against the Whiteman and that Umofia will surrender.  Fear of what the further holds for him and his clansmen on what the Whiteman hold for them and fear for not been seen as a failure and weak by surrounding to the whites, Okonkwo commits murder by committing suicide in an evil forest.

We also discover another psychological behavior on Okonkwo’s son Nwoye. When Ikemefuna was given to Okonkwo to take care of him, he befrinds Nwoys and Nwoye becomes found of him. When he later discovers that his father killed the boy, he begins to distance himself from his father and clansmen.

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Nwoye was affected psychological on the behavior of his father toward Ikemefuna and he begins to see his father as an evil man. His father’s attitude toward Ikemefuna also made him to accept the new religion quick without his father’s consent inorder to distance himself from far much better became for him, his father has created doubt of fatherly love and hatred to him.


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