Essay about Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart

1327 Words Mar 9th, 2016 6 Pages
The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a story about a strong but also weak man, Okonkwo, who’s world was turned upside down with the coming of Western religion. He experienced a tragic fall after the Western missionaries arrived. The theory of Western tragedy is that a great man falls from prosperity to disaster, and the concept of the Aristotelian model is that tragedy is an imitation of an action through pity and fear effecting the release of these emotions. The plot of Things Fall Apart and its protagonist (Okonkwo) adhere to the conventions of Western Tragedy and the tragic hero, but they also depart from the Aristotelian model.
First of all, the plot of Things Fall Apart and Okonkwo comply with the customs of Western tragedy and the tragic hero. Okonkwo was a rich and respected warrior who brought honor to the Umuofia clan. He was very different from his late father, Unoka, who was weak, sensitive, and ultimately a failure. Okonkwo never wanted to be like his father, and even “as a little boy he had resented his father’s failure and weaknesses” (Achebe 13). This was his tragic flaw, he under no circumstances wanted to be a failure or “resemble his father” in any way (Achebe 13). Among the Umuofia clan “a man was judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father” (Achebe 8). This in a sense was a good thing because Okonkwo received nothing from his father, and he achieved many great accomplishments all on his own. When the Western…

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