Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart Characters


The novel's main character and an influential clan leader, Okonkwo fears becoming an unsuccessful, weak man like his father, Unoka. As a result, Okonkwo is hardworking and aggressive, traits that bring him fame and… (read full character analysis)


Nwoye is Okonkwo's eldest son. Nwoye resembles his grandfather Unoka, in that he's drawn to gentleness and music, even though he recognizes that his father disapproves. This tension between Okonkwo and Nwoye leads to… (read full character analysis)


Ikemefuna is the ill-fated boy the Mbaino sacrifice to Umuofia in order to prevent war. Ikemefuna is unaware that his father had a hand in killing one of the daughters of Umuofia and doesn't understand… (read full character analysis)

Ogbuefi Ezeudo

Ezeudo is oldest man in the village and a great orator. He warns Okonkwo not to take part in the killing of Ikemefuna, but Okonkwo pays no heed. Ezeudo passes away shortly afterwards, and… (read full character analysis)


Ekwefi is Okonkwo's second wife and the mother of Ezinma. Once the village beauty, Ekwefi ran away from her first husband to live with Okonkwo. Ezinma is her only surviving child, and the two… (read full character analysis)
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Ezinma is Okonkwo's eldest daughter and Ekwefi's only child to survive past infancy. Ezinma resembles her mother who was once the village beauty. She understands her father well, and he in turn wishes that she… (read full character analysis)

Mr. Brown

Mr. Brown, the first white missionary to travel to Umuofia, institutes a policy of respect and compromise between the church and the clansmen. He engages in long religious discussions with Akunna in order to understand… (read full character analysis)

Reverend James Smith

Reverend Smith replaces Mr. Brown after the latter departs for health reasons. Unlike Mr. Brown, Reverend Smith is impatient and strict, showing no respect for indigenous customs or culture. He criticizes the way Mr. Brown… (read full character analysis)

District Commissioner

The District Commissioner shows up in Umuofia after Okonkwo murders a white man towards the end of the novel. The District Commissioner plans to write a book on his experiences in Nigeria, and the title… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Unoka is Okonkwo's father. Though a talented musician in life, he was also lazy and irresponsible, accumulating many debts. Unoka dies a shameful death, still in debt and without title. His death haunts Okonkwo, who vows to hate everything that his father loved, including gentleness and idleness.
Obierika is Okonkwo's close friend. He questions clan tradition at times, choosing not to take part in the killing of Ikemefuna, for example, and wondering why Okonkwo's accidental crime should merit exile for seven years. He helps Okonkwo by selling his yams and visiting him in exile.
Akunna, a respected man of the clan, discusses religious beliefs with Mr. Brown. During these discussions, Akunna brings up some striking similarities between their methods of worship.
Uchendu is the younger brother of Okonkwo's mother. Uchendu attempts to reassure Okonkwo after he arrives with his family in Mbanta, advising him to be grateful for the comfort his motherland offers.
Enoch is a fanatical convert to the Christian church in Umuofia. While Mr. Brown disapproves of Enoch's blatant disrespect for Igbo traditions, Reverend Smith encourages Enoch's provocative behavior.
Chielo is a widow who also serves as a priestess in Umuofia. She is dedicated to the Oracle of the goddess Agbala. Chielo is friends with Ekwefi and cares for Ezinma, whom she calls “my daughter.”
Nwakibie, a wealthy clansman, lends Okonkwo 800 seed-yams when Okonkwo is still young, helping him build the beginnings of his personal wealth and status. However, the year that Nwakibie lends Okonkwo the seed-yams turns out to be the worst year for harvest in living memory.