and his fellow clansmen liken him to a “Roaring Flame”—aggressive, powerful, and strong-willed. For Okonkwo, these are all positive, masculine traits, and he laments the fact that his son Nwoye
doesn't possess the same fiery spirit. However, Okonkwo has a revelation in Chapter 17, as he gazes into the fire after his son joins the Christians: “Living fire begets cold, impotent ash.” He realizes that his aggression could foster the opposite in Nwoye, but he never makes the connection that fire eventually exhausts its source as well. All of Okonkwo's impatience and aggression eventually lead to his own destruction after a spectacular final flare of anger when he murders the white messenger.