Compare and contrast Okonkwo’s behavior during the New Yam Festival with his behavior during the Week of Peace.

The New Yam Festival was an occasion for joy throughout Umuofia. And every man whose arm was strong was expected to invite large number of guests from far and wide. Okonkwo always asked his three wives relations. But somehow Okonkwo could never become as enthusiastic over feasts as most people. He was a good eater and he could drink one or two fairly big gourds of Palm-wine. But he was always uncomfortable sitting around for days waiting for a feast or getting over it. He would be very much happier working on his farm. All of sudden the storm burst, when Okonkwo had been walking about aimlessly in his compound in supprssed anger, suddenly found an outlet. Shouting “Who killed the banana tree?”

He beats Ekwefi, his second wife. He accuses her of killing a banana tree, but in reality she just cut off few leaves to wrap food. The tree was very much alive. Okonkwo has anger issues and cannot rest during preparations of the feast. Okonkwo relives his stress by beating his wives and children. He rules his family unit with the iron fist and expects everyone to act on his commands. After beating Ekwefi, Okonkwo plans to go hunting. He is not a very good hunter and Ekwefimakes a snide remark because she is upset with Okonkwo for beating her. She claims that his gun never shoots. Okonkwo, in anger to her snide remark, fires his gun at her, but misses.

Similar things happened during the week of Peace, when he couldn’t control his anger and he broke the rule of week of peace and beat his younger wife. When Okonkwo’s youngest wife Ojiugo decides to have her hair braided instead of cooking food, Okonkwo gets furious with Ojiugo. He beats her during the week of peace because she neglected to cook food. He is supposed to observe the Week of Peace with no violent behavior. Okonkwo shamefully beats his youngest wife for her negligence. The Priest demands that Okonkwo will pay a fine for breaking peace during the sacred time known as the Week of Peace. Okonkwo gives one female goat, one hen, a length of cloth and 100 cowries to Ani as a fine for violating the law of the clan. He had no respect for the clan, the gods, the ancestors and any religious function etc.

These two incidents show very much that Okonkwo rules his family unit with an iron fist and expects all members of his family to act on his commands. Whenever he gets angry or frustrated someone or the other becomes his victim. He didn’t care for his family, rules of clans or respect of gods when his anger was prominent, he always expressed it openly with violence first and then repent by paying fines for breaking rules of the clan.

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