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Okonkwo as a Tragic Hero in 'Things Fall Apart'
Essay Question. Is Okonkwo a tragic hero?
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Essay Service Examples Literature Things Fall Apart
Is Okonkwo a Tragic Hero in Things Fall Apart?
- Topics: Things Fall Apart Tragic Hero
- This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.
Things Fall Apart is a novel written by Chinua Achebe. The setting is during the late 19th, early 20th century in a village named Umuofia in Nigeria. When reading this novel the time period is important because it was a period in colonial history when the British were increasing their influence economically, culturally, and politically in Africa. The novel is about the rise and fall of Okonkwo, a man from the village of Umuofia. Throughout the novel Oknokwo is shown as a tragic hero. Okonkwo is a leader and hardworking member of his community, whose tragic flaw is his great fear of weakness and failure. Okonkwo’s fall from grace in the Igbo community lead to suicide, which makes Okonkwo a tragic hero by definition. Okonkwo rises to the honorable and successful leader of Umuofia. In the novel “Things Fall Apart” Okonkwo is the tragic hero because he shows a tragic flaw of fear, of weakness, and failure that leads to his suicude.
Okonkwo struggles with fear and uses that fear to become stronger. He struggles with the fear of becoming like his father, the fear of looking weak, and the fear of his children not becoming like him through his words. Okonkwo says “I will not have a son who cannot hold up his head in the gathering of the clan” (Achebe 33). This shows that Okonkwo really wants his son to understand the traditions of the clan that they are a part of. He wants Ikemefuma, his son, to go along with it. Okonkwo fears that he is becoming like his father and he can not stop thinking about it. “He fears for himself he will not become like his father” (Achebe 10). He is afraid of becoming a man who dies without owning anything of value. Okonkwo is terrified of becoming lazy and growing up to be the person his father was.
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Okonkwo is a fighter, a hard-worker, and a highly motivated man. His weakness is that he is afraid of change, he has a short temper, and he is stubborn. The most important thing is that Okonkwo’s strengths are the guideline to his weaknesses. Okonkwo’s shame for his father motivates him to be everything his father was not. As a result, Okonkwo hides behind his strength and hides his emotions, hoping to escape from that weakness. Okonkwo makes rash decisions to maintain his reputation. Which affects his tribe and his family. An example of this is, “As each son rejects the example of his father, these three generations form a reactionary cycle that ironically repeats itself: when Nwoye rejects Okonkwo’s masculinity, he ironically returns to the more feminine disposition that Okonkwo originally rejected in his father” (Bennett, Robert ). This is showing that his weakness is from his sons not becoming like him. Since his sons rejected Okonkwo he goes back to becoming feminine, and that is his weakness.
Okonkwo is a man who comes into conflict against himself to prove himself worthy of his tribe, but his failure is becoming like his father. Okonkwo’s greatest fear is becoming like his father. “…his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and weakness…(Achebe 13). Okonkwo was driven by the fear of failing because he did not want to end up like his father. In Okonkwo’s eyes his father was lazy and did not accomplish anything in life and Okonkwo does not want to end up like that. In my opinion Okonkwo is so afraid of becoming his father it makes him somewhat actually become his father. An example of this is, “When one of Okonkwo’s wives goes gossiping instead of preparing his evening meal, we understand why Okonkwo feels the need to beat her—not the reaction we might have to identical events in Carson McCullers. When Okonkwo’s son challenges his father’s opinions, or Okonkwo’s daughter falls dangerously ill, we understand Okonkwo’s irritation that chattels and possessions are making emotional claims with which he is not equipped to cope” (McLeish, Kenneth). His fear of failure makes him so crazy he does these things to himself and his family. Which ultimately makes him a failure. When he took his own life he was a failure because he had given up.
In conclusion, all of Okonkwo’s features make him a tragic hero. Everything he does makes him out to be a tragic hero. The definition of tragic hero is the protagonist of a tragedy in dramas. Everything Okonkwo did and lived through and leading up to his suicide was a tragedy. The main and worst tragedy was his death. Following the violence in which he kills a European messenger who tries to stop a meeting among clan elders, he realizes that he is no longer in sync with his society. No one applauds his actions, and he sees that he is the only one who wishes to go to war with the Europeans. This novel shows Okonkwo’s tragic flaw of fear, of weakness, and failure. All in all, Okonkwo was a tragic hero in the novel “Things Fall Apart”.
- ACHEBE, CHINUA. THINGS FALL APART. PENGUIN Books, 2018.
- Bennett, Robert. ‘An overview of Things Fall Apart.’ Literature Resource Center, Gale, 2020. Gale Literature Resource Center, https://libproxy.rcgc.edu:2200/apps/doc/H1420007930/LitRC?u=sewe78962&sid=LitRC&xid=2da1dc50 Accessed 12 Apr. 2020
- McLeish, Kenneth. ‘Things Fall Apart: Overview.’ Reference Guide to English Literature, edited by D. L. Kirkpatrick, 2nd ed., St. James Press, 1991. Gale Literature Resource Center, https://libproxy.rcgc.edu:2200/apps/doc/H1420000017/LitRC?u=sewe78962&sid=LitRC&xid=27f2b440 Accessed 12 Apr. 2020.
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Although Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart is the broadly read African novel, the failure of its main character leaves readers with many unanswered questions. Central to the many questions is why Achebe allowed the aspiring but brutal young person to take away his life at the time everyone looked unto him? Other commentators argue that Okonkwo’s pride and anger contributed to his downfall while others blame the fragmentation of the Umuofia society coupled with cultural destruction by the white...
The African novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Abbane is a story of how the beginnings of the colonization of Africa affect the Igbo people, specifically one man named Okonkwo. The novel is a tragedy because it shows how the community unravels and Okonkwo’s inability to deal with the new way of life in his community. Things Fall Apart is more specifically a Shakespearean Tragedy because it has the aspects of a tragic hero with flaws, struggle between good and...
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Thesis Things Fall Apart focuses and analyses Igbo society as shown in the novel, before and after arrival of missionaries to Umuofia, which led to clash of cultures. It also incorporates critical theory to analyze the novel. It is based on post-colonial criticism, as it is relevant to Achebe’s writings in Things Fall Apart. For example, post-colonial criticism chiefly deals with literature critiques from countries subjected to colonial rule. As Achebe hailed from Nigeria, a colony of Britain, some elements...
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In this essay I am going to analyse the tragic role of the central character from the novel “Things Fall Apart” written by the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe in 1958, Okonkwo, who goes from having a good life and power within his clan to being a man driven to death by his misery and his misfortune. I will use the guidelines provided by Aristotle in order to demonstrate that Okonkwo falls within the tragic hero profile established by the Greek...
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Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Tragic Hero — Analysis Of Okonkwo As A Tragic Hero
Analysis of Okonkwo as a Tragic Hero
- Subject: Literature
- Category: Writers , Books
- Essay Topic: Chinua Achebe , Things Fall Apart , Tragic Hero
- Published: 01 March 2023
- Downloads: 98
- Jeyifo, B. (1993). Okonkwo and his mother: Things Fall Apart and issues of gender in the constitution of African postcolonial discourse. Callaloo, 16(4), 847-858. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/2932213)
- Adade-Yeboah, A. (2016). The tragic hero of the modern period–The African concept. (http://ir.csuc.edu.gh:8080/xmlui/handle/123456789/439)
- Iyasere, S. O. (1990). Okonkwo and the Execution of Ikemefuna in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart: A Study of Ignoble Decisiveness. English Studies in Africa, 33(2), 131-142. (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00138399008690874?journalCode=reia20)
- Okolie, M. J., & Uzoma, G. C. (2019). Okonkwo’s reincarnation: a comparison of Achebe’s Things fall apart and No longer at ease. (http://scholar.sun.ac.za/handle/10019.1/123478)
- Dannenberg, H. (2009). The many voices of Things fall apart. Interventions, 11(2), 176-179. (https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/THE-MANY-VOICES-OF-THINGS-FALL-APART-Dannenberg/84051cf8deb2b206360677e6e0963828d347ceac)
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- Instructions Followed To The Letter
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- My Preferences
- My Reading List
- Things Fall Apart
- Literature Notes
- Book Summary
- About Things Fall Apart
- Character List
- Summary and Analysis
- Part 1: Chapter 1
- Part 1: Chapter 2
- Part 1: Chapter 3
- Part 1: Chapter 4
- Part 1: Chapter 5
- Part 1: Chapter 6
- Part 1: Chapter 7
- Part 1: Chapter 8
- Part 1: Chapter 9
- Part 1: Chapter 10
- Part 1: Chapter 11
- Part 1: Chapter 12
- Part 1: Chapter 13
- Part 2: Chapter 14
- Part 2: Chapter 15
- Part 2: Chapter 16
- Part 2: Chapter 17
- Part 2: Chapter 18
- Part 2: Chapter 19
- Part 3: Chapter 20
- Part 3: Chapter 21
- Part 3: Chapter 22
- Part 3: Chapter 23
- Part 3: Chapter 24
- Part 3: Chapter 25
- Character Analysis
- Reverend James Smith
- Character Map
- Chinua Achebe Biography
- Critical Essays
- Major Themes in Things Fall Apart
- Use of Language in Things Fall Apart
- Full Glossary for Things Fall Apart
- Essay Questions
- Cite this Literature Note
Character Analysis Okonkwo
The protagonist of Things Fall Apart , Okonkwo is also considered a tragic hero. A tragic hero holds a position of power and prestige, chooses his course of action, possesses a tragic flaw, and gains awareness of circumstances that lead to his fall. Okonkwo's tragic flaw is his fear of weakness and failure.
In his thirties, Okonkwo is a leader of the Igbo community of Umuofia. Achebe describes him as "tall and huge" with "bushy eyebrows and [a] wide nose [that gives] him a very severe look." When Okonkwo walks, his heels barely touch the ground, like he walks on springs, "as if he [is] going to pounce on somebody." Okonkwo "stammers slightly" and his breathing is heavy.
Okonkwo is renowned as a wrestler, a fierce warrior, and a successful farmer of yams (a "manly" crop). He has three wives and many children who live in huts on his compound. Throughout his life, he wages a never ending battle for status; his life is dominated by the fear of weakness and failure. He is quick to anger, especially when dealing with men who are weak, lazy debtors like his father. However, Okonkwo overcompensates for his father's womanly (weak) ways, of which he is ashamed, because he does not tolerate idleness or gentleness. Even though he feels inward affection at times, he never portrays affection toward anyone. Instead, he isolates himself by exhibiting anger through violent, stubborn, irrational behavior. Okonkwo demands that his family work long hours despite their age or limited physical stamina, and he nags and beats his wives and son, Nwoye, who Okonkwo believes is womanly like his father, Unoka.
Okonkwo is impulsive; he acts before he thinks. Consequently, Okonkwo offends the Igbo people and their traditions as well as the gods of his clan. Okonkwo is advised not to participate in the murder of Ikefemuna, but he actually kills Ikefemuna because he is "afraid of being thought weak." When the white man brings Christianity to Umuofia, Okonkwo is opposed to the new ways. He feels that the changes are destroying the Igbo culture, changes that require compromise and accommodation — two qualities that Okonkwo finds intolerable. Too proud and inflexible, he clings to traditional beliefs and mourns the loss of the past.
When Okonkwa rashly kills a messenger from the British district office, his clansmen back away in fear; he realizes that none of them support him and that he can't save his village from the British colonists. Okonkwo is defeated. He commits suicide, a shameful and disgraceful death like his father's.
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Examples Of Okonkwo A Tragic Hero In Things Fall Apart
Okonkwo tragic hero analysis.
A tragic hero is a character whose judgement ultimately leads to their own destruction. In the book “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo is a character who meets the standards of a tragic hero. In “Things Fall Apart,” Christian missionaries from Europe come to various villages to teach them about God and Christianity. Okonkwo’s village is one of the visited areas, and the missionaries are given land in the Evil Forest to build their churches. Okonkwo fears being like his father and is one of the most respected men in Umuofia. He wants to be seen as prideful, confident, and strong. This ends up being one of his downfalls, as it leads him to violence and intense anger outbursts. Okonkwo is a tragic hero because of his errors in judgement and his courageous meeting with death.
Essay on Okonkwo: A True Hero
Okonkwo's fear of being perceived as weak tragically leads to him to be unnecessarily violent and excessively prideful. These two fatal flaws lead to Okonkwo’s own emotional isolation, and his inevitable downfall. Driven by the fear of being seen as weak and emasculated, Okonkwo exhibits hyper masculinity and rage. Although this behavior initially leads to success in the patriarchal society of Umofia, rage is his greatest bane: it masks his compassion and pusillanimity. Onkonkwo’s obsession to never appear feminine is driven to the extreme. He denies affection even to his own family, “never show[ing] any emotion openly, unless it be the emotion of anger. To [Okonkwo] show[ing] affection was a sign of weakness; the only thing worth demonstrating was strength.” (pg. 28). Okonkwo whose “whole life [is] dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness.” (pg. 13) suppress his compassion in order to appear important and manly. Ironically this creates a stark juxtaposition between his own fear and his position as an alpha male. Rather than being masculine and courageous, Okonkwo just creates tension within his family and within himself. The pinnacle of this extreme hypermasculinity is when Okonkwo ignores the wisdom of the elder Ezeudu, and violently kills his “son” Ikamafuna: “As the man who had cleared his throat drew up and raised his machete, Okonkwo looked away. He had heard Ikamafuna cry “My father, they have killed me!”
A tragic hero is a character that performs courageous actions but develops a tragic flaw as they move on with their lives. The effects of the flaw begin to increase and the character usually makes unwise choices. It often leads to his downfall or even death. In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is depicted as a tragic hero. He lived a life full of contradiction. He desired to be successful and achieve everything he wanted but he ended up committing suicide. The author develops a story in which Okonkwo has to make a lot of decisions and sometimes he makes the wrong choices without himself knowing, which eventually causes his own death. He is a tragic hero in the story for the sacrifices
Essay Okonkwo, Things Fall Apart
Okonkwo's first and most prominent flaw is his fear of becoming a failure. It is greatly influenced by his father, but Okonkwo takes his fear to the extreme. Okonkwo's father was a very lazy and carefree man. He had a reputation of being "poor and his wife and children had just barely enough to eat... they swore never to lend him any more money because he never paid back." (Achebe Page: 5) In Umuofia, a father is supposed to teach the children right and wrong, and in this case, the lessons were not taught, but self-learned. Okonkwo had to rely on his own interpretations of what defined a "good man" and to him that was someone that was the exact opposite of his father. As a result of his own self-taught conclusions, Okonkwo feels that anything resembling his father or anything that his father enjoyed was weak and unnecessary. Because of his fear to be seen as weak, Okonkwo even strikes down a child that calls him father: "(and as the machete came down] Okonkwo looked away. He heard the blow... He heard Ikemefuna cry 'My father, they have killed me!'... Okonkwo draws his machete and cuts him down, he does not want to be thought weak." (Achebe page:61) The fact that he kills the child shows that the way that he thinks is wrong, that reputation is more important than the life of a child. Although it is a shame to be
In the book Things Fall apart by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo is a high status ruler in the village of Umuofia. Although he is very respected throughout the village, he has many flaws that make him a tragic hero. A tragic hero is described as a character who is a high ruler of a society. They are not thoroughly good or bad, but in a sense are better than everyone. Tragic heroes usually have a tragic flaw that they realize when it is already too late. Okonkwo has many of these characteristics. He is a high ruler of society who thinks he is better than everyone, and has a tragic flaw of being afraid of weakness, which he realizes when it is too late.
Hubtus As A Tragic Hero Oedipus
A tragic hero is a person who has qualities of a hero such as intelligence and strength but makes choices that lead to their self-destruction. The tragic hero is usually from a noble family or high position. Oedipus from The Sophocles is a tragic hero because he possesses tragic flaws such as hubris, hamartia, and too much curiosity. Marcus Brutus, a Roman politician, also serves to be a tragic hero since he is too naive, honest, and sometimes impulsive. Both Oedipus and Brutus have certain characteristics that determine them to be a tragic hero.
Essay on Gender Roles in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
- 4 Works Cited
Okonkwo life is “dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness” (Achebe 13). When Okonkwo was a boy, his playmates teased him calling, saying that his father was agbala. Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, was lazy. He did not work on his farm; he died in great debt. He did not acquire a single title. He did not have a barn to pass down to his son. Unoka is a type of man who is scorned in Umofia. He is seen as weak and effeminate. As Okonkwo grows older, he is determined not become a failure like his father. His father was weak; he will be strong. His father was lazy; he will be hard-working. Okonkwo earned his fame by defeating the reigning wrestling champion. Okonkwo diligently plants yam, building a successful farm. He builds himself an obi, has three wives and many children. His fame “rested on solid personal achievements” (Achebe 3). Okonkwo will not let one womanly trait sully his reputation. Therefore, he “hate[d] everything that his father Unoka had loved” (Achebe 13). One of these was gentleness. Okonkwo refuses to show any signs of emotion, except his temper. He
Essay Character Analysis of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart
In the novel Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is portrayed as a respected and determined individual whose fatal flaw eventually works against him. Throughout the novel the readers are shown that Okonkwo has many of these Characteristics because he is obsessed with the idea of becoming just like his father. This becomes his flaw in the novel that puts him into exile and makes it hard for him to adjust to the changes that were made with in his village.
- Things Fall Apart
Answer: In Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart” Okonkwo is a tragic hero. Aristotle’s Poetics defines a Tragic Hero as a good man of high status who displays a tragic flaw ‘hamartia’ and experiences a dramatic reversal ‘peripeteia’, as well as an intense moment of recognition ‘anagnorisis’. Okonkwo is a leader and hardworking member of the Igbo community of Umuofia whose tragic flaw is his great fear of weakness and failure. Okonkwo’s fall from grace in the Igbo community and eventual suicide, makes Okonkwo a tragic hero by Aristotle’s definition.
Character Analysis Of Okonkwo
Anyone one could go around and call themselves a tragic hero just for fun, but it doesn’t mean the same thing as actually being one, meaning that you can’t become a tragic hero until you see your own downfall. In Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo, the main character, had started with a bad reputation which caused him to grow up and earn great titles, face troubles due to christian missionaries, and later, face his own downfall. Okonkwo is a tragic hero because his choices not only led to his downfall, but also because he had no way of changing that events that were going to happen.
The ancient Greek Philosopher known as Aristotle, defined a tragic hero as someone who has heroic traits that earn them the sympathy of the audience. But, they have possess flaws or make mistakes that lead to their downfall. Aristotle also described several characteristics that portray a tragic hero. Although, there are five main important qualities that he talked about include hamartia, hubris, peripeteia, nemesis, and catharsis. The main character in the book Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo, exhibits these five traits throughout the entire story.
Okonkwo's Tragic Flaws Essay
Okonkwo is a tragic hero because has a tragic flaw, is noble, and experiences reversal of fortune. Okonkwo’s tragic flaws include short temper and not wanting to be like his father. He is noble due to his titles and respect throughout Umoafia. His reversal of fortune happens at a funeral.
Why Is Okonkwo A Tragic Hero
What is a tragic hero? According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is a literary, noble character who makes a judgment mistake that eventually leads to his/her downfall. In the book Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is our tragic hero. His leadership and eventual nobility, big reversal as a character, and his tragic flaws that lead to his downfall, are classic examples why Okonkwo is a tragic hero.
Aristotle's Poetic In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe
In his poetic, a tragic hero cannot be an eminently good man. The suffering of such a man will be shocking. The tragic hero neither can be a bad man nor a villain. According to Aristotle, “The tragic hero is a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is bought about not by voice, but by the some error of judgement” (Aristotle, 1978). The misfortune of such a man will lead to downfall. In Things fall Apart, the main protagonist Okonkwo is considered as tragic hero and he has the all the noble characters. Oknokwo was very successful and renowned in his community. He was the leader of Ibo society and he was also a famous wrestler and successful farmer. With these characters of successful in many ways, he was very wealthy man, hold a high position in the community, he had three wives, and is also best wrestler and worrier. He also rules his family with
Okonkwo As A Tragic Hero
As stated in Chapter Two on pages 13 to 14, Okonkwo ruled his household with a hand so heavy that his entire family lives in perpetual fear of his fiery temper and impatience. Okonkwo is a very rash person and, when in a fit of rage, does not think about the consequences of his actions, which inadvertently leads him to his own downfall. In committing these actions, it is not ludicrous to believe that Okonkwo will later receive consequences due to the immorality of these actions.
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Things Fall Apart Essay: Okonkwo the tragic hero
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A tragic hero is someone of superior qualities and status, who suffers a reversal of fortune due to major character flaws. In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Achebe portrays his own characterization of a tragic hero through Okonkwo, the main character. Like typical tragic heroes in other literature, he suffers a terrible death in the end. Despite his honorable and respectable social status, Okonkwo’s tragic flaws, fear of failure and anger, bring about his own destruction.
Okonkwo is one of the most powerful men in the Igbo tribe: “Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond…he had brought honour to his village by throwing the Cat” (3).
This suggests that in his society, power is attained by achieving greatness and fame, either through fighting or wrestling. Okonkwo also works and tends to his crops in a zealous fashion, which drives everyone around him to be as diligent as him. Because of this, he earns his place as one of Umuofia’s most respectable leaders.
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Though he isn’t always please with his children and wives, they bring him a sense of pride and respect since having a large family means that the head of the family is able to support all of them. Okonkwo fails to free himself from his major character flaws, which ultimately brings about his tragic demise.
Okonkwo’s first prominent flaw is his fear of failure, which is greatly influenced by his father, Unoka, a very lazy and carefree man. He had a reputation of being “poor and his wife and children had barely enough to eat…he was a loafer” (4).
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Ashamed of his incapable father, Okonkwo felt that anything that resembled Unoka or anything that his father enjoyed was weak and unnecessary. Because of his fear to be seen as weak, Okonkwo even strikes down a child that calls him father: “…Okonkwo drew his matchet and cut [Ikemefuna] down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (43). Killing the child demonstrates Okonkwo’s fear of weakness and that to him, reputation is more important than the life of the child. This flaw eventually brings about his downfall at the end when he continues to fight stubbornly against the white Christians since he believes giving up shows weakness.
Okonkwo’s uncontrollable anger is another flaw that prevents him from true greatness and ultimately destroys his life. To discipline Nwoye, he becomes very rough on his son. For example, when Nwoye overhears that Ikemefuna was to be “taken home the next day, [Nwoye] burst into hears, whereupon his father beat him heavily” (40). Okonkwo’s inability to control his infuriation eventually drives his son away to join the “enemies” and even reject his own family. This particular attitude causes much hatred in Okonkwo towards the missionaries to the point of him murdering one: “Okonkwo’s matchet descended twice and the man’s head lay beside his uniformed body” (144). His abhorrence and rage in this situation led him to his downfall. Although his emotion can be justified, it is clear that he cannot control his sudden rage and his quick-tempered actions.
Okonkwo’s suicide at the end of the novel concludes the life of a tragic hero. His fear of failure and sudden anger lead him to such actions that cannot be ameliorated and reversed. Despite his several honourable characteristics and his high status in the Igbo society, he fails to correct his tragic flaws and eventually suffers a terrible downfall.
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. : Heinemann International Literature & Textbooks, 1993.
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Okonkwo A Tragic Hero Essay
Show More Tragic Hero In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, The book tells a story about Okonkwo, a man of power and authority, suddenly fall from the good graces of the townspeople and tragically die. In Things Fall Apart, Achebe uses Aristotle’s five components of tragedy to depict Okonkwo as a tragic hero. Achebe uses the Aristotle’s first component of developing a distinguished hero in order to establish Okonkwo as an established hero. Okonkwo was a man of war and a member of high status in Igbo village. He was a successful farmer who was admired by the villagers. Okonkwo represented their cultural values by his hard-working, powerful nature.“Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid …show more content… Okonkwo’s flaw was a fear of failure and appearing weak that led to his downfall. His appearance to people was based upon his masculinity among the village. He would try any way possible to prove others that he was a powerful man. This constant desire to prove his virility made him impulsive and be extreme violent. As he always tries not to show his weakness, Okonkwo goes under pressure and to show his masculine side in front of the others he decides to raise his machete and kill his adopted son “As the man who had cleared his throat drew up and raised his machete, Okonkwo looked away. He heard the blow. The pot fell and broke in the sand. He heard Ikemefuna cry, “My father, they have killed me!” as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak.” (pgs.27-28) He killed his adopted son, Ikemefuna because he lost his sense of masculinity at one point which led him make the mistake. Nearly every aspect of Igbo culture was a gender specific , even the food that they farmed such as yams.Okonkwo even gender specifies yams as a “ … a man’s crop” (pg.16). Yams were the main crop in the Umuofia and helped the man support his family, it is given the higher status of a "man 's crop”. During the week of peace,he becomes so uncontrollably violent, …show more content… He qualified for all the characteristics that a tragic hero needed to have according to Aristotle’s theory of tragedy. As Okonkwo fell apart, the whole community fell apart as well. As he took away his own life at the end of the book, it shows that he would rather die than be under control of the enemies. He killed himself because he recognized that that the village was not his place anymore, and he had done what he needed to as a hero. Things do fall apart, things change, religion, culture, people, communities change. Nothing will always stay the same, and it took a hero to take his own life for others to realize that the center would not always
This displays how Okonkwo is inherently savage, because he rather sacrifice someone else, then face the punishments bestowed upon him, demonstrating his savage nature. He is also conflicted by thinking he may become soft if he did not partake in Ikemefuna’s murder, displaying his unease of losing his strong image and become like his father, who is the opposite of himself thus providing more reason to commit such savage act. Besides fear driving Okonkwo to commit savage acts and the display of his savage nature, anger is also a leading factor for…
Okonkwo's Characterization In Things Fall Apart
Okonkwo goes against his friend’s word, but he feels absolutely awful about it. He has guilt about killing Ikemefuna, and he also has guilt about disobeying the person who told him not to “bear a hand in his death” (Achebe 61). After the boy’s death, “Okonkwo did not taste any food for two days” (Achebe 67). This makes the readers nearly forget that Okonkwo killed him. The readers sympathize for him like someone had just taken his son away from him, though truly Okonkwo killed him.…
Okonkwo Tragic Flaw Analysis
Perhaps there’s not better example of this in the novel than when he kills Ikemefuna, his adopted son, whom he loved and felt very proud of. “As the man who had cleared his throat drew up and raised his machete, Okonkwo looked away. He heard the blow. The pot fell and broke in the sand. He heard Ikemefuna cry, “My father, they have killed me!” as he ran towards him.…
Tragic Heroes In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
The author clearly states, “Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak”. (pg 61) Throughout his whole life he was controled by his fear of failure and he thought killing Ikemefuna helped prove he was a brave man. Similarly, Macbeth dealt with fear of not being powerful, but he had to kill the former king to get his crown. Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to kill King Duncan and she…
Themes In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
“Even Okonkwo himself became very fond of the boy - inwardly of course,” (Achebe 25). Not long after that, Ikemefuna is sent to be killed by a few members of the village. Okonkwo is told not to attend because the child called him “father” and it would not look good. Being the person he is, Okonkwo had to prove that no one could tell him what to do, so he went along. He let his need to be a man go too far when they were killing Ikemefuna and the young boy ran to him for protection.…
Cultural Memory In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
Achebe uses conflict as a way to bring the two opposing groups together and create a resolve between their differences. Okonkwo suddenly killing Ikemefuna, a boy he viewed as a son, instantly creates a separation between him and his son, Nwoye, which will forever changes his son’s morals. Ikemefuna brought the duo closer than ever before, but this relationship changes when the tribe decides to kill him because he is not one of their own. Okonkwo is forced to murder him because he is one of the leaders of the clan. Achebe depicts the destruction of the father and son relationship, when he writes, “Then something had given away inside him.…
Sympathy In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
Okonkwo equates gentle emotions or fragility with being weak. He believes if he would have displayed any form of compassion or vulnerability he would lose respect. His fear of appearing weak also leads to his downfall when he kills the court messenger. When the court messengers interrupted the meeting of the men of Umuofia, Okonkwo “confronted the head messenger, trembling with hate, unable to utter a word”(204). He killed the messenger and “stood looking at the dead man”(204).…
What Are The Causes Of Okonkwo's Downfall
Because he held on to his pride, and because he was clearly a stubborn man, he beat his third wife knowing that he would be held accountable to punishment. Killing his foster son was preventable, but Okonkwo chose to show his pride instead. All of these downfalls led to an ultimate ending of his life. Okonkwo becomes angered and kills a missionary leader, and then he kills himself by hanging. I feel that the title of the novel was intended to show us that things can quickly fall apart in our lives, and that we have control over some things that happen and no control over others, but we should not let any of those regulate our lives and drive us to…
Theme Of Culture In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
This pride leads to a lot a disconnections between people, because the men don’t want to be seen as weak but a strong fearless Ibo man. We especially see this in Okonkwo when he kills Ikemfuna, “Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (61). In the quote Okonkwo was told by the oracle to kill his adoptive son, Ikemefuna, because he would later bring destruction to the tribe. Okonkwo killed his own son just because he wanted to keep his pride and not thought of weak.…
Okonkwo Gender Expectations Analysis
Okonkwo continuously acts a certain a way to appear to be manly and macho. Ultimately, his thoughts of a man having to act barbaric and violently to be seen as masculine leads to the death of Ikemefuna. The fear of weakness in Okonkwo is clearly seen when Achebe writes, “Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (61). What is demonstrated in the text is that Okonkwo only willingly killed Ikemefuna because he thought it was what was expected of him.…
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- Chinua Achebe
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Okonkwo Tragic Hero Essay
Archetypes in things fall apart.
The five characteristics of an “Archetypal” tragic hero that I chose to describe Okonkwo would be the following: a noble stature, a tragic flaw, a free choice, his punishment exceeds the crime, and the hero has increased awareness.
Okonkwo Dialectical Journal
Okonkwo is driven by his hatred of his father and the fear he will become like him. Okonkwo saw his father, Unoka, as a coward and is ashamed to be his son. Everything that Okonkwo does is meant to set him apart from the legacy of his father. First, this is evident in his beating of his wives and even his aggression with his children. He is trying to show his strength and ensure he is not portrayed to be like his father: powerless and incapable. Next, Okonkwo is warned that he will be told to kill Ikemefuna, a boy who has become like a son to him. When the time comes, Okonkwo, Ikemefuna, and a few other men set out on their journey. When the men move to kill Ikemefuna, Okonkwo trails behind them so he will not have to be a part of
Is Okonkwo Sympathetic
Whether okonkwo is threatening his son to work or feeling ashamed of his father, the man is portrayed being an unsympathetic character to the eye from his beatings and cockiness, but people hardly look past that to view it from another perspective. Okonkwo is actually a sympathetic character if people would consider how he treats his son do to the fear his father put into him. His past transformed him to be hard working and teach his own children the value of setting their own title even though it is not in put perfectly on the table.
Compare And Contrast Okonkwo And Oedipus
A tragic hero, by short definition, is someone who falls because of a tragic flaw and not because they are evil or a bad person. Aristotle in his book, Poetics,
How Okonkwo's Change In 'Things Fall Apart'
You would think people are strong but somethings can hurt them and mean a lot to them. Everyone wants to be strong it’s just certain things that make them who they are. In this essay you will be reading about about how Okonkwo hanged from the beginning to the end of the story and how things drastically changed.
Okonkwo's Arrogance In Things Fall Apart
Albert Camus once said , “The byronic hero, incapable of love, or capable only of an impossible love, suffers endlessly. He is solitary, languid, and his conditions exhaust him. If he wants to feel alive, it must be in the terrible exaltation of a brief and destructive action.” In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s arrogance and pride show him as a complex character. His anger and strong beliefs show him as a representative towards his society; However, change is unpredictable and unavoidable. Okonkwo’s motivations, character development, and interactions suggest that he is a byronic hero.
Okonkwo's Manliness In Things Fall Apart
Because Okonkwo fits four out of the five criteria of a tragic hero, he is a tragic hero. Because he was a successful leader and farmer and he earned this success without any help, Okonkwo is better than ourselves. According to the book, Okonkwo “neither inherited a barn nor a title, nor even a young wife.” (18) Despite the fact that he came from a failure of a father, Okonkwo managed to become wealthy and successful. Because of his anger, and his fear of being thought weak, Okonkwo was vulnerable. His anger made him do things without thinking, which could end up harming him. His fear of being thought weak made Okonkwo do everything he could to appear more manly, which could end up with him harming himself or others. Because of his vulnerabilities, Okonkwo’s downfall was his own fault. Due to his anger, Okonkwo beat his wife during the week of peace, violating the rules of the week. He also killed Ikemefuna because “[h]e was afraid of being thought weak.” (61) These two actions were Okonkwo’s fault, and were caused by his vulnerabilities. Because he lost his tribe and culture to the British missionaries and ended up committing suicide, Okonkwo’s punishment exceeded his crimes. Although his crimes were bad, he served his punishment for all of them. However, when he came back, Okonkwo’s tribe abandoned their culture for the Catholic one. This eventually led to Okonkwo’s suicide. He didn’t deserve either of these things. Because Okonkwo’s fall is a pure loss, he doesn’t fit
Similarities And Similarities Between Okonkwo And Macbeth
The stories of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Things fall Apart and Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth may seem to have no relations with one another. However, there are a multitude of similarities and parallels between these two men. The tragic flaws of the two cause their demise. Okonkwo as well as Macbeth can be identified as tragic heroes due to both men suffering from tragic flaws; however, their similarity of being tragic heroes diverge due to both men having different motivational factors that were instilled by their experiences.
Things Fall Apart
Okonkwo falls under the hero archetype present in many works of literature throughout history. A few of the qualities and actions that are cause for his inclusion into this category include his reputation as a great wrestler, saying “he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat,” (Achebe 1) a great warrior, “[Okonkwo] had shown incredible prowess in two inter-tribal wars,” (Achebe 8) and his willing to act upon his duties such as receiving Ikemefuna in chapter four and travelling to the village to acquire Ikemefuna in chapter two. This idea of Okonkwo, a prime example of manliness, being a hero expresses that Umuofian culture views masculinity as synonymous with many traits of characters who fall under the hero archetype.
Okonkwo was one of the most famous and fearful member not only of his clan in Umuofia but other nine villages as well. He worked hard to become a renowned and prosperous member of his clan and to break away from the legacy of his father Okoye who was referred to as ‘agbala’, a man who has not won any title and was another word for woman. Okonkwo was not an evil man but his life was dominated by fear of weakness and failure which made him extremely violent and aggressive. He hated everything associated with his father- music, gentleness and laziness. But much to the anguish of Okonkwo, Nwoye embodied most of his grandfather’s traits and this enraged Okonkwo deeply. Okonkwo dreads that Nwoye will blot the acclaim and honour he has worked so hard to achieve. Nwoye’s “incipient laziness” was causing Okonkwo great deal of distress and he sought to correct him by “constant nagging and beating” and as a result Nwoye was “turning into a sad-faced youth” (Pg. 13).
Okonkwo Tragic Hero Analysis
A tragic hero is a term that describes a character who displays certain characteristics which affect their future significantly. In Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo’s fate as a tragic hero to an extent is greatly true as he portrays hamartia, a fatal flaw, and hubris, excessive pride. Even though the author describes Okonkwo as a hardworking, African farmer, it contradicts his rash decisions following numerous events. Therefore, Okonkwo’s tragedy is true as his fear of weakness and excessive pride lead him to his downfall.
Analysis Of The Tragic Hero In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
Many literary works incorporate the concept of a character that makes an error of judgment or attains a fatal flaw that leads to their collapse. This creates a vision for a tragic hero who portrays significant and intemperate actions and ideas. Not only does a tragic hero reveal their behavior and thoughts, they exhibit how virtuous they are, a significant flaw they reveal and their reversal of fortune. Their heroic characteristics merit them with the approval and compassion from the audience, but their imperfections eventually drive them to their ruin. Many events play into a story creating the importance of a tragic hero and their demise. In Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo 's noble status, warped ideals of masculinity, and the unfortunate turn of events in his
Why Is Okonkwo A Tragic Hero
The main reason why Okonkwo is a tragic hero is that of how weak his chi is. The chi takes a big important role in the novel because according to the Igbo people, anything something goes wrong with a person it is because of there bad chi.in the beginning of the book, Okonkwo seems to be the one that has the best chi and has everything going for him at the time. In the beginning of the book the reader is meant though think that Okonkwo will overcome anything that is thrown at him because of his chi. This is shown in the novel when
According to Aristotle in his poetics, the tragic hero is an intermediate person who is filled with tragic flaw(hubris /hamartia) (Butcher, 2000). It is due to his hubris or hamartia , he commits a crime. He then undergoes through pain and suffering and learns a fundamental truth of life. In short , tragic hero is a person who makes error in his jugdement which leads to downfall of himself in end (Aristotle,n.a) and ends usually with death of protagonist with evocation of pity and fear among the reader. However, Okonkwo does have few traits of tragic hero. He is intermediate person as he is person who is not virtuous or bad. He is good at heart though he cannot express or show his feeling as he think it is a traits of female. That becomes his tragic flaw. His hubris is his excessive fear for falling into the category feminine or weakness. He never want to assiociate himself with his father Unoka or with his son Nwoye. Due to fear of being related to feminine and weakness, Okonkwo was always filled with anger which was
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The Tragic Hero Of "Things Fall Apart"
What comes to mind when you hear the word hero? You may think of superheroes, a significant figure in your life or anyone else who generally brings greatness about the world. A tragic hero on the other hand is a character who has a flaw that eventually helps aid to their downfall as a tragic hero. In the novel Things Fall Apart written by Chinua Achebe and Macbeth written by Shakespeare, we meet two prime examples of tragic heros. The elements of a tragic hero include hamartia, anagnorisis and the tragic downfall. Hamartia is the hero 's tragic flaw, it often gets in the way of their success. Anagnorisis is the turning point for the character, they often come to realization of something important and meaningful. Lastly is the tragic hero 's downfall, this is simply the heroes downward spiral of events. The characters Okonkwo and Macbeth both carry all of these aspects. The protagonists , Okonkwo and Macbeth, are both tragic heroes, who share similarities and differences that ultimately lead to their downfall. Okonkwo is considered a man of high status. He was looked at as a fierce warrior in the clan of Umofia. According to Achebe, “He was a man of action, a man of war.” (10). He was a hard worker throughout his community which had landed him the position as a wealthy farmer. His hard work had obtained him a high ranking throughout the nine villages. Okonkwo 's tragic flaw was simply his fear of weakness or failing, which all had stemmed from his Father, Unoka. Achebe informs us, “But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and weakness.” (13). This quote truly goes to show how his tragic flaw was a very deep rooted problem and has developed over a lifetime. He had wanted to resemble nothing of his Father, Okonkwo would stop at nothing to be not considered weak. For example, killing Ikemefuna who he has grown quite close too and he valued him alot and even considered him a son of his own. But to prove himself he decided to kill him. He felt terrible the week after and I think this goes to show how Okonkwo is not as heartless as he presents himself to be, it’s just a constant state of his life being ruled and dictated by fear. Okonkwo’s anagnorisis is when he decides to face his obstacles alone. The clan of Umuofia would not go to war with Okonkwo . There new life had already begun its path to much had changed within the seven years of his exile, when he returned he was livid and immediately wanted to revolt. Which ultimately left Okonkwo to face this alone. This all lead to tragic downfall. Okonkwo 's downfall was a domino effect, his actions of violence towards others had truly helped aid to his downfall as a tragic hero. His downfall could include when he was sent to exile for seven years and also his suicide. He had committed suicide due to the fact that outsiders had came from different parts of the world and tried to change everything he once knew. Okonkwo wanted to fight for the old ways that Umofia had once had but the clan of Umofia as well as the people were all something that they once were not. This aided towards Okonkwo’s depression and eventually his suicide. Macbeth does occupy a high status, many of the people in the play had shown great respect for him as an individual. Although he had not obtained the highest position of society he had been ranked General of King Duncan, Macbeth’s position in society was elite compared to just average citizens. Macbeth 's tragic flaw is his thirst for power. He had developed an intense fascination with gaining power, that he was blindsided by all the wrongs that he was doing. Macbeth realizes his downfall (anagnorisis) when Macduff told him that he was not birthed by a woman and Macbeth had come to realization that the prophecies the witches had said would not come true. Realization had been brought to Macbeth that he was not as powerful as he had convinced himself to be. These countless treacherous acts had completely brainwashed him and he was not able to determine right from wrong anymore. This alone had played a huge factor to his downfall as a tragic hero. Shakespeare writes, “I’ll go on no more. I am afraid to think what i have done. Look on’t again I dare not.”(II.2.48-50). In this quote it truly goes to show the self realization that he was brought upon Macbeth, he had done a terrible deed and instantly regretted it. Macbeth 's downfall may be known to have had been influenced by other characters . The choices Macbeth had made had resulted in his death by Macduff. Both Macbeth and Okonkwo have their similarities and their differences but they are both truly tragic heros. One similarity Macbeth and Okonkwo both share is a fear of being considered weak. Macbeth had done whatever Lady Macbeth had told him to do because she had threatened his masculinity and he did whatever he could to protect that. Okonkwo had played up a tough persona to make sure everyone had this ideal image of this tough leader, everything that his Father was not. In contrast, to Macbeth, Okonkwo has no respect towards women or his wives. Macbeth on the other hand gets pushed around by his wife, Lady Macbeth. This goes to show how Okonkwo tries to portray more of a dominant individual, by lack of respect towards women. It had made Okonkwo feel superior. Macbeth did not portray this single characteristic. Another difference could include how Okonkwo had to work for his position that he received he was brought up from a poor Father and wasn’t that respected but he worked an immense amount to get the position he received. Macbeth was already well respected and was brought into royalty. To conclude, Macbeth and Okonkwo are both tragic heroes due to their similarities and differences. They both have such a crucial fear to interfere with their success as a hero. Their hamartia are both very similar, and eventually aid to their downfall as tragic heroes. Both of their fears had revolved in some way around fear or relating to. Macbeth and Okonkwo may have lived very different lives and had different circumstances but they are both truly tragic heroes. Macbeth’s fascination with power had thrown him into a downward spiral and Okonkwo’s constant need to not be considered as weak had made him just absolutely a monster from the outside but truly he was just scared, scared of what others would think. Both Okonkwo and Macbeth were insecure at heart which had ultimately led to their tragic downfall. Insecurities had played a pretty crucial part. Men have been identified as having to be masculine and this whole idea of being tough and dominant were both pushed upon macbeth and okonkwo. This lead to their downfall, constantly being told or looked at as weak would crush any spirit. It is no place to thrive in it is a terrible environment for a hero to be in and that is why Macbeth and Okonkwo had spiraled down a hero’s journey to a tragic downfall. Works Cited "How Is Macbeth a Tragic Hero? | ENotes." Enotes.com. Enotes.com, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor, 1994. Print. 016. Chua, John. "Things Fall Apart." Okonkwo. CliffsNotes, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. Beers, Kylene. “The Tragedy of Macbeth”. California Collections. Orlando Florida: Houghton Mifflin Harkor Publishing Company, 2015. 215-289. Print.
Author: Erica Morris
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A classical tragedy is meant to evoke emotions on the reader and make them sympathize for the tragic hero and recognize their humanity. Tragedies are characterized by the tragic hero overcoming obstacles only to inevitably reach their downfall. The hero’s fatal or tragic flaw is accountable for the hero’s demise. The hero can be viewed as a man who is a leader but who is also weak when it comes down to difficult situations. In Chinua Achebe’s Novel, Things Fall Apart, the author uses hamartia, peripeteia, and a tragic downfall to emphasize Okonkwo’s role as a classical tragic hero.
Severe insecurity like this can lead a person to do things they would not usually do. This includes beating his wife during the Week of Peace. Just like in other tragedies, Okonkwo sets himself up for failure from the start. He may have many titles of the village and be respected in his community but because of this he gains excessive amounts of pride and pride can be extremely fatal. His pride can also be considered as another branch of his fatal flaw which means it will ultimately lead to his downfall. This parallels the story of Oedipus Rex as he proceeds to fulfill his fate of killing his father and becoming king by marrying his father. Okonkwo did not have a prophecy in the start of the book but both Okonkwo and Oedipus possess the same fatal flaw of fear and pride. Oedipus has a fear of killing his father and marrying his mother while Okonkwo has a fear of becoming like his father. Both of them have the excessive pride in themselves due to their success which makes them blind to what they have done and what they have become. Okonkwo is blind to the fact that he is stuck in his ways which means that he will never change, and this parallels his father’s actions.
Another important characteristic of a tragic hero is the reversal of fortune, also known as peripeteia. This is when everything that the tragic hero has worked for is lost and the audience often pities them. In Things Fall Apart, the reversal of fortune comes when Okonkwo kills his clansmen’s son. In the village of Umuofia “it [is] a crime against the earth goddess to kill a clansman, and a man who committed it must flee from the land” (Achebe 124). Okonkwo has gained many titles up to this point but after killing Ezeudu’s son, he loses it all. He is banished and forced to live in his mother’s house in other village for seven years. Although this can be viewed as his tragic downfall, it is merely a stepping stone on the road to downfall. This reversal of fortune forces Okonkwo to realize how much he had in his “old life”. Before killing his clansman, he did not realize that he was truly blessed to have the life he did because of his upbringing.
Okonkwo blames his chi for what has happened to him when he thinks that “clearly his personal God or chi was not made for great things” (Achebe 131). This could be true, but it could also be a test from his personal. It has been said that God puts his people through many trials to make them stronger and to test them. If this is a test, Okonkwo is failing. He is despaired and has no love for work that he previously had. Due to his laziness he has reverted to the ways of his father Unoka. Just like his father he is not motivated to work on his crops. This means that despite all his efforts to combat becoming like his father, he has indeed become like Unoka. Again, this reversal of fortune parallels the peripeteia of Oedipus Rex. In Oedipus Rex he is exiled from Thebes after discovering that he has fulfilled his prophecy. Just like Oedipus, Okonkwo is also exiled from his home.
The downfall of the tragic hero is the culmination of all of the events in the story come together. It is meant to evoke pity or fear in the audience. The hero’s downfall is his own fault because of his own free choice, but his misfortune is not wholly deserved. The downfall is seen as a waste of human potential and is due to excessive pride. Coming back into the village of Umuofia, Okonkwo believes that he will “return with a flourish and regain the seven years wasted” (Achebe 171). This shows that his motivation has come back from when it was lost during his exile. He believes that his village will let him pick up where he left off, but he is gravely mistaken. Once he returns he realizes that the Christians have begun to change the traditions of his home and he does not know how to restart in a place he does not know the framing of. He questions his people saying “What is it that has happened to our people? Why have they lost the power to fight?” (Achebe 175).
Instead of learning the new ways of the village alongside his clansmen, Okonkwo loses hope for his life. His inability to adapt to colonization will lead to his downfall. Okonkwo is naïve in thinking that he could pick up where he left off or even repair his reputation. Once he loses hope he takes his own life. This marks the official downfall of Okonkwo as a tragic hero. The death of the tragic hero is usually not a pure or complete loss because it results in catharsis which is an emotional cleansing. In this case it is not pure because in Umuofia “it is an abomination for a man to take his own life. It is an offence against the Earth, and a man who commits it will not be buried by his clansmen” (Achebe 207). After everything Okonkwo has done to have an outstanding reputation, he has ruined all of it by taking his life. Even his banishment did not truly tarnish his name but because suicide is an abomination in Umuofia his clansmen will not remember him fondly. Just as the village does not remember Unoka fondly, Okonkwo has followed in his father’s footsteps once again without realizing that he is making himself out to be his father’s son. The downfall of Okonkwo parallels the downfall of Oedipus Rex in the fact that they both are looked down upon and shamed in the end.
In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo makes a respectable name for himself and is motivated by his lazy father. His journey throughout the novel is similar to that of a tragic hero and therefore many of the elements also apply. Okonkwo possess a hamartia, peripeteia, and a downfall that taints his reputation. Things Fall Apart means that something that seems like it is believed to last forever, come to an end. This is a common theme in classic tragedies and more importantly in Things Fall Apart and in Oedipus Rex. The similarities in the two of these prove that Things Fall Apart is truly a classic tragedy.
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