Okonkwo as a Tragic Hero-Things Fall Apart

1198 WordsMay 7, 20155 Pages
OKONKWO AS A: TRAGIC HERO Aristotle once said “A man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his downfall.” The protagonist of the book “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo demonstrates characteristics of being an Aristotelian tragic hero. According to Aristotle, a Tragic Hero is one who exhibits a tragic flaw that causes a reversal of fortune to him in his own error of judgment. Okonkwo is a leader and a hardworking member of the Igbo tribe of the village of Umofia whose tragic flaw is his immense fear of appearing emotionally weak in his community. Achebe introduces Okonkwo to us as a self-established and hardworking man. After the death of his carefree and indolent father, who left him with undue debt he took…show more content…
And, indeed, Ikemefuna called him father.” (Pg. 28) The narrator uses the word ‘inwardly’ to express Okonkwo’s growing affection towards Ikemefuna. Ikemefuna possesses manly values that force Okonkwo to be fond of him and even though he rarely shows aspects of love and intimacy as he considers them feminine, there is a special relationship the two have. Such fondness for Ikemefuna could end up as him being Okonkwo’s but that is not quite what happens. When the village elder Ogbuefi Ezeudu pays Okonkwo a visit and reveals to him that the oracle has proclaimed for Ikemefuna to be killed, he also advices Okonkwo not to take part in the killing of the boy as he calls Okonkwo “father”. Regardless of how much Okonkwo liked Ikemefuna, he does not once, question the oracle and takes out his machete and kills Ikemefuna, as he’s afraid of being thought of as weak and fixated with emotions: “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”(Pg. 61) Soon at Ezudu’s funeral, Okonkwo’s gun accidentally goes off and he shoots Ezudu’s sixteen year old son and kills him because of which the earth goddess is angered and she sentences him to seven years of exile along with his family to his motherland i.e.
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