Okonkwo A Tragic Hero Essay

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Tragic Hero In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, The book tells a story about Okonkwo, a man of power and authority, suddenly fall from the good graces of the townspeople and tragically die. In Things Fall Apart, Achebe uses Aristotle’s five components of tragedy to depict Okonkwo as a tragic hero. Achebe uses the Aristotle’s first component of developing a distinguished hero in order to establish Okonkwo as an established hero. Okonkwo was a man of war and a member of high status in Igbo village. He was a successful farmer who was admired by the villagers. Okonkwo represented their cultural values by his hard-working, powerful nature.“Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid …show more content…
Okonkwo’s flaw was a fear of failure and appearing weak that led to his downfall. His appearance to people was based upon his masculinity among the village. He would try any way possible to prove others that he was a powerful man. This constant desire to prove his virility made him impulsive and be extreme violent. As he always tries not to show his weakness, Okonkwo goes under pressure and to show his masculine side in front of the others he decides to raise his machete and kill his adopted son “As the man who had cleared his throat drew up and raised his machete, Okonkwo looked away. He heard the blow. The pot fell and broke in the sand. He heard Ikemefuna cry, “My father, they have killed me!” as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak.” (pgs.27-28) He killed his adopted son, Ikemefuna because he lost his sense of masculinity at one point which led him make the mistake. Nearly every aspect of Igbo culture was a gender specific , even the food that they farmed such as yams.Okonkwo even gender specifies yams as a “ … a man’s crop” (pg.16). Yams were the main crop in the Umuofia and helped the man support his family, it is given the higher status of a "man 's crop”. During the week of peace,he becomes so uncontrollably violent, …show more content…
He qualified for all the characteristics that a tragic hero needed to have according to Aristotle’s theory of tragedy. As Okonkwo fell apart, the whole community fell apart as well. As he took away his own life at the end of the book, it shows that he would rather die than be under control of the enemies. He killed himself because he recognized that that the village was not his place anymore, and he had done what he needed to as a hero. Things do fall apart, things change, religion, culture, people, communities change. Nothing will always stay the same, and it took a hero to take his own life for others to realize that the center would not always

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