Drawing principally from Francis Fukuyama’s (1952–) conception of thymos, this article focuses on exploring Okonkwo’s desire and his rigid personality in Chinua Achebe’s (1930–2013) magnum opus titled Things Fall Apart (1958). This paper hopes to prove how Achebe’s most famous character, Okonkwo, attempts to gratify his thymos which is described as a ‘desire for recognition’. Consistent with Fukuyama’s notion, this research examines how Okonkwo struggles to gain his thymos in confrontation with Ibo people and how his thymos-driven emotions incite him to reject the white colonists’ dominance in the fictional clan of Umuofia in Iboland. Therefore, we argue why Okonkwo’s self-willed personality and his ambivalent desire towards his clan’s values and the white man’s presence feature him as a “thymotic man” or the “man of anger.” Ultimately, this article demonstrates that Okonkwo rebels against the white colonists’ alleged injustice to satisfy his thymos and be “unbeatable.”
Avestan, Samrand and Mordaunt, Owen G.
"The "Roaring Flame": Pursuing Thymos in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart,"
International Dialogue: Vol. 12, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/id-journal/vol12/iss1/4
Ethics and Political Philosophy Commons, International and Area Studies Commons, International and Intercultural Communication Commons, International Relations Commons, Political Theory Commons