Why was Okonkwo's road to success particularly difficult? (chapter 3)
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Okonkwo has overcome incredible diversity. His father's pathetic end and death tainted him with shame, and left him without inheritance. His rise to social power and wealth has been a triumph of stubbornness and will. Sharecropping is a difficult way to begin; moreover, the first year Okonkwo planted was a terrible harvest year. But Okonkwo was young and strong, and he was able to survive. The experience has been essential to the formation of his character. Central to Okonkwo's beliefs is not only a work ethic but a faith in the ability of the will to overcome adversity. He is confident that he can master his environment; he rules as a man, and he is fiercely proud of his people. Understanding these beliefs is key to understanding the tragedy that strikes Okonkwo later, after the coming of the white man.