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Pride In Chinua Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart'

Decent Essays
Things Fall Apart Journal 4 Essay In the novel, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, Achebe is trying to convey the theme that excessive pride has the potential to be catastrophic. Achebe conveys this theme by using characters, structure, and Okonkwo as the tragic hero. The District Commissioner, Okonkwo, Enoch, and Mr. Brown are all prideful men and all of them have the potential to succumb to pride; however, pride can only wreak havoc if the person yields to it. The District Commissioner commits immoral acts because of his egotism and similarly, Enoch is the start of the conflict between the clan and the church because of his arrogance. In addition, Okonkwo is the tragic hero, who has a devastating end due to his inability to resist pride,…show more content…
In the first part of the book, Okonkwo is a great, successful, and strong man of title and fame. He is a stark contrast from his father, who is lazy and weak (2, 10). Okonkwo fears “failure [and] weakness”, which fuels his desire and strive to be strong and manly (10). In addition, the Ibo admire manliness and strength, which inflates Okonkwo’s hubris. In his attempts to maintain his image of power, he allows his ego and pride to take over his judgment. For example, when Ikemefuna cries to Okonkwo to save him, he is in a “daz[e]” of fear, he makes the horrible decision of killing Ikemefuna (53). This is the big mistake that is his reversal of fortune, or peripeteia. After the death of Ikemefuna, Okonkwo is met with great misfortune. He faces depression and exile for 7 years when he accidentally kills Ezeudu’s son (109). To add onto his unluckiness, in part two, Christians start to interfere with the Ibo and Okonkwo loses Nwoye to them. In part three, Okonkwo faces the drastic changes of his fatherland. He is sad and angry because tradition is changing and the things like title and status aren’t as important as before, therefore, his ego is hurt and his hatred of the Christians increase. To continue with the miseries of Okonkwo, after the men of the clan burn down the church because of Enoch’s unmasking of…show more content…
Pride without restraint can reduce careful analysis which can be fatal. The sin of too much pride is relatable. It blocks logical processes and without logical process, people are prone to making choices without the knowledge of the consequences. It is evident in all people, including students and politicians. Students are able to overestimate their abilities and neglect studying, only to fail their tests. Politicians can be blind and ignorant because of their escalating egos, only to lose voters. The key to not end up in tragedy is to not allow pride to control
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