Essay On Okonkwo's Downfall

In terms of classical literature and theatre, dating back to Ancient Greece, a tragic hero is a man of great wealth or power who falls from grace. This fall happens at times because of external forces, but more often the man’s downfall is caused by none other than himself. At times, this curse belies the character by an action of choice, be it due to personal failings or because of a misunderstanding. The downfall of Okonkwo, in spite of seeming to be a far different story altogether, is not so different from. Okonkwo comes from humble beginnings. His family struggles when he was young, and his father is not only poor and unlucky, but also constantly in debt, to multiple people at a time. He resents his father’s laziness and cowardice, and …show more content…
The man who had warned against aiding in the death of Ikemefuna now lies dead himself, ancient and cold. Having possessed three out of four titles, the elder was a man of vast wealth and prowess in the community, and his funeral rite displays this well. Towards the end of the celebration, a group of men fire guns in salute as per the custom, whilst others dance. Okonkwo is one of the shooters, and in the chaos of celebration his gun explodes, a piece of shrapnel flying and killing the son of Ezeudu. As the author states, “It was a crime against the Earth goddess to kill a clansman, and a man who committed it must flee from the land. The crime was of two kinds, male and female. Okonkwo had committed the female, because it had been inadvertent. He could return to the clan after seven years (Achebe 124).” Because of the incident at the funeral, Okonkwo is forced to flee the village with his wives and children, and what little belongings they can carry. After their departure, his home and his wives’ huts are destroyed, along with their crops and livestock. In just one small evening, Okonkwo’s livelihood has been obliterated, and he is thus left to the mercy of the

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