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Obierka plays the role of advisor to Okonkwo. Although Obierka is a good friend of Okonkwo, he challenges Okonkwo with sobering counterpoints to Okonkwo's ideas. Obierka is a wise man that has compassion for others. He reflects long and hard over issues before he speaks. Okonkwo on the other hand is rash and decides with emotion. Okonkwo is worried about appearances while Obierka concerns himself with the substance of things rather than show. Needless to say, they frequently disagree.