Things Fall Apart

Improved Essays
In his insightful critique, “The Plight of a Hero in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart,” Patrick Nnoromele reevaluates the demise of protagonist Okonkwo, widely perceived as a repercussion of his tragic flaw: the abiding fear of resembling his effeminate and disreputable father. However, Nnoromele alternatively suggests that Okonkwo’s suicide was not the manifestation of weakness and defeat, but rather a gallant act according to the Igbo ideals. To justify this claim, the critic characterizes a hero in the Igbo cultural belief system, as an individual with, “great courage and strength to work against destabilizing forces of his community, someone who affects, in a special way, the destinies of others by pursuing his own” (Nnoromele 270). He then alludes to …show more content…
Nnoromele interprets the suicidal act as, “an ultimate expression of the compound effects of his own experiences in his unflinching desire to become a hero” (Nnoromele 280). However, he misconstrues Okonkwo’s deviation from his duty to his village and clan as an inevitable result of his pursuit to be a hero. Okonkwo was so fixed on attaining the title of a hero, that he resorted to death rather than challenging the imperial powers that were encroaching Umuofia. However, in doing so, he prioritized his personal desires over the welfare of his clan, an act far more egotistical than valiant, especially by the Igbo standards. Regardless of the motive, suicide itself is condemned in the Igbo culture and those who kill themselves are prohibited from being touched or properly buried. So, not only did Okonkwo exhibit weakness through his suicide, but entirely infringed the laws and beliefs of the Igbo people. Altogether, Okonkwo’s suicide was not an outcome of his experiences, as Patrick Nnoromele claims, but an embodiment of his character

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