One day they will see. They will all see. My return will be put down in the legends of Umuofia. The disgrace of Nwoye, and even my father will be wiped out of their memory by my triumph. I can feel it now. They will bow with respect and offer me the first lobes of kola nut. My titles will be reinstated before I have a chance to sit beneath the sacred tree. And after I rid the village of the white man's vile religion even Agbala will be sorry that I was ever banished.
- Okonkwo grew up in the tribe of Umuofia. His father was very lazy and cause Okonkwo to grow up starving and in poverty, ultimately leaving him with nothing. This childhood experience caused Okonkwo to hate his father, and he decided to become as manly as possible in order to counter his father's weakness. The culture of the tribe encouraged this mindset because being manly was considered a worthy and admirable accomplishment. Therefore, Okonkwo became a man who shows no emotions (and certainly no affection) towards anyone, even though he is fond of certain people on the inside. He adheres strictly to the rituals of the tribe in order to prosper, and prosper he does. He becomes one of the most successful men in his tribe and is highly regarded by all.
- Okonkwo takes manliness a bit farther than the other members of his tribe, beating his wife during the peace week even though it caused him to pay fines. He is so determined to be manly and unlike his father that he ends up not showing any love or kindness towards his children at all. In fact, he is highly disappointed with his son Nwoye, whom he considers to be especially effeminate and weak, despite his attempts to turn him into a man. He ends up completely disowning his son when he runs away and converts to Christianity.
- Okonkwo's environment and society has shaped him so much that he simply cannot deal with other values. When he is exiled to Mbanto for seven years, he has a very difficult time. This village values peace, and puts high esteem on women. Okonkwo considers the tribe to be weak and womanish, and although he follows their customs he does so begrudgingly, all the while scheming about his great return to Umuofia.
- When he does come back to Umuofia, the tribe has changed drastically due to the presence of the white ministers. The tribe isn't as strong as it once was, and is so concerned with the ministers that Okonkwo doesn't receive the respected welcome he thought he would have. Okonkwo no longer fits in; the tribe hesitates to do anything harmful to the ministers, even though Okonkwo urges them to drive them out. Okonkwo slowly becomes more and more frustrated with the tribe's lack of unity and action, unable to comprehend how his tribe had become so effeminate and weak. He doesn't understand the new attitude of the tribe and how they fail to defend their land like they used to. Eventually, Okonkwo realizes that the tribe is not behind him after he murders a court messenger but the tribe allows the other messengers to run away. He realizes that the tribe has lost its teeth, and that it will not fight to get its old way of life back but will passively submit to the missionaries. Okonkwo simply cannot adjust to this new version of his tribe because his old values are so ingrained in him. He ends up hanging himself, giving himself a disgraceful death rather than living in his weakened and defeated tribe.