Okonkwo As A Tragic Hero In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Decent Essays

Ashley Sorgi
Ms Desantis
English 2H Red 2
19 October 2017
Okonkwo as a Tragic Hero “We have self-centered minds which get us into plenty of trouble. If we do not come to understand the error in the way we think, our self-awareness, which is our greatest blessing, is also our downfall” (Joko Beck). In Chinua Achebe’s fictional novel, Things Fall Apart, the main character Okonkwo illustrates self-centerdness as well as numerous other flaws which bring him towards his downfall. However, he demonstrates that he is well respected in the beginning of the novel, as well as accomplishing a high status. Okonkwo adheres to the qualities of a tragic hero as he begins the story as a noble leader where he is honored for his manliness and work ethic, but his constant struggle to rid himself of his father’s legacy as well as his overwhelming pride leads to his tragic downfall. Okonkwo illustrates that he is a tragic hero through his noble position at the beginning of the novel. This is exemplified through his struggle and efforts to break free from poverty, which bolsters him into a successful life. An old man describes Okonkwo and his past; as stated in the novel,
“Okonkwo, who had risen so suddenly from great poverty and misfortune to be one of the lords of the clan…Anyone who knew his grim struggle against poverty and misfortune could not say he had been lucky. If a man ever deserved his success, that man was Okonkwo. At an early age, he had achieved fame as the greatest wrestler

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