The novel is one of the most influential twentieth-century works of literature and is considered to be one of the landmark novels in English literature and postcolonial literature.What constitutes a man in the novel can be seen from the description of what constitutes success within the Igbo tribe, according to Achebe. This would include worldly success as well as spiritual ascent. This is indicated through a variety of gestures within the novel on the part of the writer and the other members of the society that the novelist is a part of.
The different aspects of the way in which Achebe and Igbo life looks atman are seen in this passage from the novelHe was still young but he had won fame as the greatest wrestler in the nine villages. He was a wealthy farmer and had two barns full of yams, and had just married his third wife. To crown it all he had taken two titles and had shown incredible prowess in two inter-tribal wars. And so although Okonkwo was still young, he was already one of the greatest men of his time. (Achebe)This idea of the man is then derived not only from the material aspects of life but also from the spiritual. aspects of it.
This can be seen from the fact that Okonkwo is also assigned spiritual responsibilities as a result of the social position that he held. He is assigned the responsibility of taking care of Ikemefuna, something that becomes very important as far as the progression of the plot is concerned. Apart from this, the fact that Okonkwo is a part of the Igbo priesthood is also very significant as it points to his position within the spiritual society of the Igbo community. His removal from the priesthood is also accompanied by a fall in his social status and this points towards a connection between religion and society in the material sense of it as far as the Igbo community was concerned.