Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart Essay

1197 Words Dec 18th, 2015 5 Pages
The tragedy is an ancient form of drama, found as far back as Roman rule. In the traditional arc, a man of good standing has fame, fortune, and wealth, until his downfall caused by a tragic flaw, or hubris. The protagonist then falls from grace, losing all he once had. This is the case in the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The main character, Okonkwo, is a man of high standing in Igbo society who builds his way up from the low status he was raised in by his unreliable father. His hard work brought him a good yam farm, three wives, and several children. Okonkwo then experiences a fall from grace, losing status and fortune, and is exiled from his tribe for several years. He triumphantly travels back to his home after seven years, only to find it completely changed. Okonkwo’s destiny is that of the protagonists of Elizabethan tragedy: he goes from good status and popularity into a steep nosedive of poverty and paranoia, and the story concludes with his own suicide.
Okonkwo did not achieve his popularity without hard work. He worked to gain all he had from what little he had growing up. While this is an example of extraordinary determination, it is also an acknowledgement to his hubris. When Okonkwo was young, he lived with his unreliable father, who couldn’t be trusted with anything, and never paid back a loan. Okonkwo constantly hears his father being insulted for this by other tribe members, saying Unoka is feminine and that Unoka was doing work worse than a woman…

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