Earlier today, we were questioning why Achebe did not portray the natives in a brighter light. Okonkwo can be seen as evil based on his vengeful and unrestrained actions. His disregard for the women, obsession with power, and readiness to shoot his wife and even kill his own son portrays a wicked man regardless of the beauty of his internal intentions and emotions. While some said that illustrating the “perfect” man incapable of such wrongdoing is simply unrealistic, I find that his character effectively exploits universal qualities of humanity. In doing so, the distinction between white and black is narrowed. Immorality is but a tool in equalizing two races thought to have been divided by a wall of civilization.
“For from within, out of men’s heats, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’” (NIV, Mark 7:21-23)