The Hero Of Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

2190 Words9 Pages
What is a hero? From Batman to Wonder Woman; from Mother Theresa to Ghandi; from Malala Yousafzai to Nick Vujicic; even the protagonist of Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo, is portrayed by Chinua Achebe as a hero in his own right. For centuries and across many civilisations, we have revered people dead, alive and fictional alike. Yet if we were to compare every definition of a hero, few would explicitly match. To define – or even simply list – every archetype within the genre of a hero is an almost impossible task as the extensive interpretations and variations span across time and culture. Despite this variation, Okonkwo from Things Fall Apart depicts the traits of hero. From a literary perspective, he is explicitly tragic hero, particularly as defined by Aristotle. A tragic hero can be defined as "a [great] man who is not eminently good and just, whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty." This further consists of five major traits: hamartia (a tragic flaw); peripeteia (a reversal of fate); anagnorisis (enlightenment from ignorance); catharsis (purification or purging); and pathos. Overall, Okonkwo characterises a classic tragic hero, and Achebe achieves this through three major aspects of his characterisation: father-son relationship, an imbalanced character and structured downfall. A primary motive behind Okonkwo’s actions was his father. In the first chapter, Achebe utilises descriptive labels to present Unoka in a negative
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