Okonkwo Tragic Hero Analysis

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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. Okonkwo has many errors judging the complexity of many big decisions. He also has a major weakness, that being his pride and constant battle-ready state. These end up being a major downfall in his life. Ikemefuna ends up being a part of Okonkwo’s errors in pride when the Oracle decrees Ikemefuna’s death. One blow from a machete didn’t kill him and having seen this, “Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (61). This quote shows Okonkwo’s kryptonite, being thought of as a weak person. This would eventually lead to him and five others being captured by the missionaries and brought to a jail. “The six men ate nothing throughout that day and the next. They were not even given water to drink. ‘We should have killed the white man if you had listened to me,’ Okonkwo snarled” (195). This quote shows Okonkwo’s failure to judge just how serious the situation is with him saying what they should have done is listened to him. Both of these events lead Okonkwo down a dark path. While taking some of the missionaries on a path to find Okonkwo, they see his body hanging from a tree. Obierika, a long-time friend of Okonkwo starts to yell at the missionaries, blaming them for his death by saying, “That man was one of the greatest in Umuofia. You drove him to kill himself; and now he will be buried like a dog” (208). This quote shows the end of a long chain of events that drove Okonkwo to his destruction of
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