Okonkwo can fight with the best of them - indeed his place in his community stems from his physical prowess and his victory in an important wrestling contest when he was still comparatively young - but he can't prevent 'progress'. What he knows (and the reader acutely shares in his knowledge via Achebe's polished, elegant writing) is that Europeans and their impudent monotheism, hubristic imperiousness, their racism and ultimately the sheer violence of their culture and its justice is not in any way 'progress' at all. Achebe shows us Okonkwo's (and Africa's) dilemma: the progress to a capitalist future is no future; the rural isolation and ignorance of his tribe is no longer even a viable present.
-- Reviewed by Mark Thwaite on 18/07/2005Further Information
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication Date: 01/11/2001
Number of pages: 176