Things Fall Apart

875 WordsAug 30, 20134 Pages
Okonkwo is a tragic hero in "Things Fall Apart" Question ( 2 ): Discuss Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe 's “Things Fall Apart” is a tragic hero. Answer: In Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart” Okonkwo is a tragic hero. Aristotle’s Poetics defines a Tragic Hero as a good man of high status who displays a tragic flaw ‘hamartia’ and experiences a dramatic reversal ‘peripeteia’, as well as an intense moment of recognition ‘anagnorisis’. Okonkwo is a leader and hardworking member of the Igbo community of Umuofia whose tragic flaw is his great fear of weakness and failure. Okonkwo’s fall from grace in the Igbo community and eventual suicide, makes Okonkwo a tragic hero by Aristotle’s definition. Okonkwo is a man of action, a man of war and a…show more content…
Okonkwo things that, "No matter how prosperous a man was, if he was unable to rule his women and his children … he was not really a man" Okonkwo wrestles with his fear that any sign of weakness will cause him to lose control of his family, position in the village, and even himself. Like many heroes of classical tragedy, Okonkwo’s tragic flaw, fear, also makes him excessively proud. Okonkwo’s downfall is a result of the changes created by the coming of the British Colonisers to Igbo. The introduction of the Colonisers into the novel causes Okonkwo’s tragic flaw to be exacerbated. Okonkwo construes change as weakness, and as a result of his interpretation, Okonkwo only knows how to react to change through anger and strength. He derives great satisfaction, “hubris” or proud arrogance, from the fact that he is a traditional, self made man and thinks that to change would mean submitting to an outside force (Christianity). Following Okonkwo’s seven year exile, the village Okonkwo once knew has changed due to the influence of Christianity and the influence of the British missionaries and officers. Okonkwo’s initial reaction is to arm the clan against the Colonisers and drive the British people out of Igbo. “He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart” (152). Okonkwo has always used his strength and courage to protect the community from destabilizing forces, and as

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