Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Identity Crisis: Hero or Coward?

After the humiliation of the leaders of his village and the implementation of a new government, Okonkwo could no longer suffer the meddling of the white men in his world. In an act of blind rage and fury, Okonkwo murdered the messenger of the British imperialists. Desiring perhaps on a subconscious level to awaken the lethargic passiveness of his people, what resulted afterwards was only a stunned silence from his fellow people. He realized the hopelessness in keeping his way of life from falling apart and went home to hang himself.

Did Okonkwo die a hero or a coward? Was his suicide a brave and fierce act of defiance like Patrick Henry? Or was it the sad resignation of someone who simply gave up?

We want to try to answer this question by first considering the issue of identity crisis he faced. In groups, read the following poem:

"Search for My Tongue"

Answer the following questions in your group:
1. What is the inner conflict faced by the poet?
2. What is the identity crisis?
3. What figurative language does she use to describe this conflict/crisis?
4. What is her solution for the problem? How does she find peace?
5. How does this apply to Okonkwo?
6. Did Okonkwo die a hero or coward? Why?


  1. Dear Mr Kevin Pyon,
    I would greatly appreciate it if you would give me permission to use your picture entitled "Identity Crisis : Hero or Coward?" . My name is Loh Tze Eng and I am a student at a Teacher-training Institute in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. I am doing a paper on Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” and I would like to use your picture on the cover of my paper. The paper is being written as a requirement of the Literature course (PI1353 English Studies) that I am doing.
    I look forward to a favourable reply from you and will properly cite your picture in my bibliography/references used.
    Thank you,
    Loh Tze Eng.Lucy

    1. Lucy Angel,

      Of course you are free to use whatever you want! Thanks for asking - that was very thoughtful of you.

      Kevin Pyon

  2. Excuse me, sir. Do you have an account in devianART?