Essay on Things Fall Apart

2000 Words Jul 1st, 2012 8 Pages
Tragic Hero or Coward? In Achebe’s book Things Fall Apart Okonkwo is arguably made out to be a “coward” due to the killing of the messenger and to himself. Many reader’s don’t see that Okonkwo is no coward at all, but should be considered a “tragic hero”. In the tribe of Umuofia, Okonkwo is considered to be the “greatest men of his time”(Achebe 8), his characteristics fit the definition of an everyday hero, which is a man of distinguished courage, ability, and thought highly of for his brave deeds and noble qualities. Okonkwo is a well respected man in the tribe and rises to the top very quickly “like a brush-fire in the harmattan”(Achebe 3) and at a young age; he is muscular, vigorous, well respected, and wealthy. Achebe describes …show more content…
Okonkwo feels that the Abame tribe should have been stronger and killed all the whitemen. When Okonkwo hears of his son joining the missionaries he chokes Nwoye and asks him where he had been and even threatens to kill him. This is just a first glimpse that the reader see’s of how Okonkwo reacts to the whitemen intruding the space of other tribes and his own family. Although Okonkwo was doing great financial and was well liked in his mother’s homeland. He still missed his homeland tribe of Umuofia and feels that in all the 7 years wasted at Mbanta he could have “prospered even more in Umuofia”(Achebe 162). When Okonkwo finally returned to his own tribe of Umuofia after being exiled for 7 years there has been much change to the tribe of Umuofia. Okonkwo knew his place was lost Achebe’s states that, “A man’s place was not always there, waiting for him. As soon as he left, someone else rose and filled it.” (Achebe 171). As Okonkwo settles in he learns that the church has grown in strength and many of his brother’s and sister’s from the tribe left to join the missionaries. He realizes that he can’t lead his “warlike tribe against the new religion”(Achebe 171) and was told he has to “gain ground”(Achebe 171). This is the first sign to the reader that, they(the reader) see’s Okonkwo is starting to see that he is becoming powerless and causing his “self-awareness” to rise and bring tension into Okonkwo’s mind. When the Umuofia tribe

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