Things Fall Apart Characters Analysis

Okonkwo - The protagonist of the novel is a strong warrior from the village of Umuofia. Okonkwo has a terrible relationship with his father, Unoka, who is unable to provide for his family. Okonkwo builds his reputation and wealth through handwork and by following the traditions of the Igbo Society. His life is marked by a series of tragedies that begin when Okonkwo kills his foster son, Ikemefuna. In the end, Okonkwo is unable to stomach the changes that the white man introduces in Igbo Society, and so he commits suicide. Stammer. Hung himself.

Unoka - Okonkwo’s father Unoka is presented as a failed father figure, who could not fulfill the responsibilities that the Igbo society imposed on fathers. Unoka only seemed to find solace in music, and he was known to be an excellent flutist. He dies a sorry death, as he suffers from a disease that prevents him from being buried in the usual Igbo fashion. Instead, the sick Unoka is abandoned in a forest to die alone with just his flute for company.

Ikemefuna - The foster son of Okonkwo, who is handed over to him when he visits Mbaino as the emissary of war for Umuofia. Ikemefuna is then entrusted to Okonkwo, who raises him alongside his children for three years. During these years, Ikemefuna builds a deep connection with both Okonkwo and Nwoye. Eventually, the oracle of Umuofia decides that Ikemefuna needs to be killed in retribution for the murder of a woman that had been visiting Mbaino. Ikemefuna runs to Okonkwo when he is first struck, but instead of shielding the boy in his last moments, Okonkwo cuts him down with his Machete. He does this because he doesn’t want to be seen as a weak man by the other members of his clan.

Nwoye - Okonkwo’s eldest born son from his first wife, Nwoye, is shown to be a gentle and compassionate boy. He is deeply affected by the cruel nature of Igbo society, as he witnesses infant twins being abandoned to die in the forest, and then loses his foster brother Ikemefuna. He comes across the missionaries in Mbanta and is deeply affected by the hymn that the missionaries sing during their first meeting with the people of Mbanta. Nwoye eventually abandons his religion and becomes one of the first Christian converts in Mbanta. 

Ekwefi - Excited the most by wrestling. She falls in love with Okonkwo when she sees his prowess as a wrestler but she doesn’t marry him at first because she thinks he’s too poor. She marries another man, but she cannot help thinking about him, and so she leaves her husband for him. They struggle to conceive a child together as She struggles to bear children 

Ezinma - Ekwefi’s only child with Okonkwo, and said to possess the right spirit by her father. He often told people that he wished she had been born a boy since she would have fared better than his sons.

Obierika - Okonwo’s neighbor and close friend, who chooses not to accompany the men of the clan when they take Ikemefuna to his death. He participates in the destruction of Okonkwo’s property after Okonkwo flees from the clan for spilling the blood of a clansman. He helps Okonkwo return to the clan, and visits him in Mbanta, whenever he can. Obierika is deeply affected by Okonkwo’s suicide and he blames the District Commissioner for his friend’s death.

Uchendu - Oknonkwo’s uncle through his mother, who lives in Mbanta, where Okonkwo spends the seven years of his exile. Uchendu welcomes Okonkwo and raises his spirits when he becomes disheartened by the tragedy that has struck him.

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