Things Fall Apart

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In the novel Things Fall Apart, the main character is a headstrong man named Okonkwo.  He is a gifted warrior and leader who fits the archetype of the tragic hero in many ways. The hero go through certain events that lead to his rise of prominence, to fit the archetype of a tragic hero.  Okonkwo rises to prominence by defeating Amanlinze the Cat in a wrestling contest, growing a large farm of yams from nothing, and helping to lead his village to many victories in war. Also, the audience must feel enormous fear and pity for this hero in order to fit the archetype, which Okonkwo’s audience feel for him. At the end of the story Okonkwo commits suicide, which is a pitiful death. He killed many men in battle, and also had a quick temper. His anger would lead to rash decisions such as harming others, sometimes including his wife. This leads to the audience’s fear of Okonkwo, a good reason why he fits that part of the archetype. Another way Okonkwo fits the archetype is he experiences a reversal in fortune. After a life time of good fortune Okonkwo begins to experience hardships, such as becoming in exile from his tribe, his eldest son turning on him, and his village becoming weak. Okonkwo fits the three characteristics of the archetype of a tragic hero pretty well.

Okonkwo’s childhood was one of nothing but embarrassment about his lazy dad, which drove him to rise to prominence. From the beginning of the novel, the author explains the importance of wrestling to the Ibo tribes. When Okonkwo defeated Amanlinze the Cat in a wrestling contest, he became the best wrestler in all of the nine Ibo villages. As the novel said ” this man that Okonkwo threw in a fight which the old men agreed was one of the fiercest since the founder of their town engaged a spirit of the wild for seven days and seven nights (p1).” This achievement brought Okonkwo respect among the villagers. Having such respect and admiration leads to his rise of prominence. Secondly, Okonkwo had...
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