Hubris in Time of the Hero and Thing Fall Apart

Topics: Chinua Achebe, Gender, Masculinity Pages: 4 (1693 words) Published: May 13, 2013
In the novels The Time Of The Hero (TTOTH) by Mario Vargas Llosa and Things Fall Apart (TFA) by Chinua Achebe, both writers focus on the idea of hubris and the excessive pride of powerful characters. In fact both the Jaguar (TTOTH) and Okonkwo (TFA) are characters, which represents this idea of Hubris, as they’ve been shaped by their social environment and the notion of manliness and hierarchy. In TFA, Okonkwo respond to the Igbo society through his obsession of being hyper-masculine. In TTOTH, the Jaguar adapts himself to the violent environment of the academy and the struggle to survive, and even raises himself above the other cadets. In both cases, the writer shows to the reader that the characters’ manliness leads him to the idea of “hubris”, by creating the illusion of an extreme power base around the Jaguar and Okonkwo. However in both novels, the writer also use the idea of femininity as an obstacle for both character’s pride. Furthermore, hubris is also linked to the idea of determinism, as the extreme pride of each character leads him to his own downfall.

In TFA and TTOTH, The idea of Hubris seems to be linked to the pressure of society. In both cases, characters are born into a hierarchical society in which the glorification of manliness and the passion of survival, leads some male characters to excessive pride. In TFA, Chinua Achebe shows the hierarchical spirit between genders in Igbo society. This idea of hierarchy between genders is shown with the distinction between crops, as the “yam”, which is exclusively grown by men, symbolising the tribe’s respect for men’s physical strength. This same idea of separation of genders is also shown with the difference between men and women crimes, which shows the distinction between powerful men and “weak” women. This clearly shows a hierarchical society in which women are seen as weaker, and men are defined by their physical prowess. Therefore Okonkwo’s obsession for masculinity shows the inescapable force...
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