Unoka Character Analysis (Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe)
Music was his whole life, it was the very thing that kept Unoka moving and it's what kept him sane. Once it was Unoka's time to leave this world in the most shameful way possible, all he could think to do before they took him was he couldn't go without his flute, for the music that he made from his flute created a shelter of peace for him. He knew that if he did not have it with him that he would try to escape or get his way out of it, and with that he also knew that by doing so and lashing out he would be throwing away the last shred of dignity that he had remaining. Venturing to the Evil forest was foreseen to come for him once the swelling had taken over his body, some might have said that his failure was the beginning of his sentence to the Evil forest. He was a failure to everyone he had ever met, his son, his community, and to the world. Unoka had one primary thought running through his mind which caused him to mumble it to himself at a barely audible point, only he could hear it so he could make sense of it “The only thing I have to leave behind in this world is my flute. For everything and everyone has already left me a long time ago” Three men from his tribe that were carrying him into the forest were having a conversation about Unoka and his failure, Unoka to save some pride and dignity tuned his ears to listen to their feet hitting the ground instead. Their pace was starting to slow down and in that moment Unoka knew he would be left alone to die. The men brought him to the densest part of the forest so that he couldn't come back out with the little strength that his body still harbored. He was shoved on the ground in a harsh manner and right before the men had turned and walked back in the direction that they had once come, one of the men spat at him “You were born useless and you will die useless.” Unoka knew there was no point in responding to him because in some ways he agreed. Instead once he knew they were gone he mustered up enough strength to inch over to lay his back against an old tree that was falling apart. The years of his life flowed through his mind as quick as they were slipping away from it. They flute lay in his lap until he brought it up to his mouth to play his final song. It was the end for him, the end of any chance for him to redeem himself, the end of his unexceptional existence. On the last not of his son the flute fell out of his grasp and his eyes closed for the last time. It was his time to go, his time to start anew.