An Appraisal of Prof. Segun Ogungbemi’s Article on Okonkwo and the Polarities of Existence In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

Ikechukwu Sunday Onyibor Marcel


This paper critically discussed issues raised by Segun Ogungbemi in his article on “Okonkwo and the Polarities of existence in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (TFA)” in chapter eleven of his book Philosophy and Development. In the above said chapter he posited that a consideration of okonkwo’s life achievements, failures and social or traditional belief entail an existential trend by which one can philosophically posit relevant questions on human existence. Hence, he avers that the purpose of his article was to raise questions with regard to what Okonkwo represents and the lessons to learn from his understanding of human existence. Thus, he asks: Considering what Okonkwo stands for in TFA, can we say that he was happy or his life was purposeful? This paper exposed some of the problems and challenges inherent in interpreting what Okonkwo represents and lessons to learn from his understanding/misunderstanding of human existence from Igbo ontological point of view; which in my opinion his paper failed to adequately appreciate.


Polarity; Existence; Okonkwo; Igbo; Things fall apart; Community; Ogungbemi.

Full Text:



Achebe, C. (1988). The African trilogy: Things fall apart, no longer at ease, arrow of god. London: Picador Collections.

Afigbo, A. E. (1981). Ropes of sand in studies of Igbo history and culture. Ibadan: University Press.

Aligwekwe, P. E. (1991). The continuity of the traditional values in the African society: The Igbo of Nigeria.

Ikeobi, G. (1988). The healing minister and Igbo christianity. In E. E. Uzoukwu (Ed.), Religion and Africa in cultivation—A Nigerian perspective. Enugu: Cecta Press.

Leonard, A. G. (1906). The lower niger and it’s tribes. Nabu Press.

Macquarrie, J. (1997). Principles of christian theology. New York: Scribner & Sons.

Mahood, M. M. (1979). Idols of the Den: Achebe’s arrow of god. In C. C. Innes & L. Bernth (Eds.), Critical perspective on Chinua Achebe. London: Heinemann.

Mbiti, J. S. (1969). African religions and philosophy. London: Heinemann.

Nwodo, C. S. (2004). Philosophical perspective on China Achebe. Port Harcourt: University of Port Harcourt University Press.

Odimegwu, I. (2016). Okonkwo: Construction of an African identity in Chinua Achebe’s things fall apart. In E. J. Alam (Ed.), Honoring Chinua Achebe. A Lebanese-Nigerian celebration in the company of Nobel Prize winner wole Soyinka. Lebanon: NDU Press.

Ogungbemi, S. (2007). Okonkwo and the polarities of existence. In S. Ogungbemi (Ed.), Philosophy and development. Ibadan: Hope Publications.

Okafor, C. (2004). Igbo Cosmology and the parameters of individual accompliment in things fall apart. In E. N. Emenyonu (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on Chinua Achebe Vol. 1. Omenka: The Master Artist, Asmara Eritrea: Africa World Press, Inc.

Uchendu, V. C. (1965). The Igbo of Southeast Nigeria. New York: Holt Rinehart.

Wren, R. M. (1981). Achebe’s world. Harlow Essex: Longman.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Canadian Social Science

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Online Submission

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.
  • We only use four mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;;

 Articles published in Canadian Social Science are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Canadian Social Science Editorial Office

Address: 1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://; Http://;

Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture