Okonkwo’s reincarnation : a comparison of Achebe’s Things fall apart and No longer at ease

Okolie, Mary J. N. ; Uzoma, Ginikachi C. (2019)

CITATION: Okolie, M. J. N. & Uzoma, G. C. 2019. Okonkwo’s reincarnation : a comparison of Achebe’s things fall apart and no longer at ease. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 21(4):Article 1, doi:10.7771/1481-4374.3145.

The original publication is available at https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/clcweb


The reincarnation myth is a global concept, founded basically in religion and tradition. It was especially vibrant in the ancient times in places like Egypt, Greece, and in continents like Asia and Africa, which possess varying understandings of the myth. In Igbo tradition, for example, it is believed that reincarnation occurs within a family. And that some of the marks of reincarnation are usually the possession of the birthmark or certain other physical features and the exhibition of character and behavioral traits of a deceased person by a living member of his/her immediate or extended family. Thus, reincarnation entails the return to life of a deceased person in a new body. Sometimes, revenge is the mission of a reincarnated body. Bearing other reincarnation intentions in view, we study Achebe’s Okonkwo as one who falls within this category of reincarnation for revenge, having reincarnated through the body of his grandson Obi in No Longer at Ease to avenge himself against Umuofia and to suffer his son Nwoye, who now fathers him as Obi, for perhaps having had the effrontery to have left him and his ancestral tradition for the religion of the white man.

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