In describing how Okonkwo "discerned a clear overtone of tragedy," Achebe is emphasizing that his character is a human with reason and emotions (which deliberately contrasts with the Africans described in Conrad's Heart of Darkness).
discerned a clear overtone of tragedy in the crier's voice, and even now he could still hear it as it grew dimmer and dimmer in the distance.
Okonkwo finds an outlet to release his anger by beating his wife and shooting a loaded gun at her, and "in spite of this incident the New Yam Festival was celebrated with great joy in Okonkwo's household." But when the British colonize Umuofia, Okonkwo will struggle with suppressing his own anger at being suppressed, and the consequences of his failure to do so will not be as forgiving.
Okonkwo, who had been walking about aimlessly in his compound in
suppressed anger, suddenly found an outlet.
having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy
And so when Okonkwo of Umuofia arrived at Mbaino as the proud and
imperious emissary of war, he was treated with great honor and respect, and two days later he returned home with a lad of fifteen and a young virgin.
someone sent on a mission to represent the interests of someone else
And so when Okonkwo of Umuofia arrived at Mbaino as the proud and imperious
emissary of war, he was treated with great honor and respect, and two days later he returned home with a lad of fifteen and a young virgin.
Note that "dominate" is being used passively in the example sentence. Although Okonkwo likes to actively dominate others, he cannot control his own fear of weakness and failure. His fear of being dominated by failure and weakness drives him to dominate others so that they wouldn't have the strength to notice or point out any of his weaknesses or failures.
But his whole life was
dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness.
the comfort you feel when consoled in times of disappointment
He had one
consolation. The yams he had sown before the drought were his own, the harvest of the previous year. He still had the eight hundred from Nwakibie and the four hundred from his father's friend. So he would make a fresh start.
Okonkwo is using "inflexible" as a positive adjective to describe his strength. But Achebe is also hinting at the definition of "incapable of adapting or changing to meet circumstances"--a quality that will end up breaking Okonkwo.
"Since I survived that year," he always said, "I shall survive anything." He put it down to his