Examples Of Tragic Flaws In Okonkwo

Decent Essays

Okonkwo’s Tragic Flaws In the novel Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s many tragic flaws lead to his downfall. His downward spiral is driven by his fear of weakness and failure, his masculine authority, and his abundant pride. Okonkwo caused his entire family’s lives to be destroyed because he had to remain at the top and always do what was best for himself, even if it meant harming someone he cared about. Okonkwo’s fear of weakness and failure cause him to go through his entire life trying not to have the same fate as his father, who was lazy with no titles. The narrator wrote, “Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was driven by fear, the fear of failure and weakness” (Achebe 13). His whole life was driven by the fact that he never wanted to end up like his father, and deep down he might have had a less cruel version of himself wanting to take the wheel. Then in Achebe’s words, “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” (61). Okonkwo thought of Ikemefuna as his own son, yet in spite of his fellow clansmen thinking of him as weak, he killed him. Okonkwo was an extremely masculine, frustrated man who would not allow anyone in his family to question his

Get Access