Things Fall Apart 2

Topics: Tragedy, Things Fall Apart, Tragic hero Pages: 2 (778 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart shows an odd similarity between the cultures of Ancient Greece and the Lower Niger. Despite the fact that two societies can exist during different periods of time and have conflicting cultural values, their stories and behavior can have surprising overlaps. Things Fall Apart is structured like a Greek Tragedy in its use of a chorus and in the presence of a tragic hero whose actions ultimately lead to his downfall. The Egwugwu from Things Fall Apart act like the chorus in a Greek Tragedy, such as Antigone. These figures, the elders of society who speak in behalf of the spirits, are present to provide background information and extra news It is imperative for the audience to know of this information for them to follow plot development. In both situations, these groups are the elders of the culture. A member of the Egwugwu tells Okonkwo to not take part in the killing of Ikemefuna, but Okonkwo disobeys the order and slays Ikemefuna himself. Just as the chorus of a Greek Tragedy relays the messages of the gods to the citizens of the town, during certain rituals, the Egwugwu convey the teachings of important spirits. Their influence is displayed when they hear the case of Uzowulu, who is soon forced to beg his wife to return to him. This shows that the orders of the Egwugwu are always followed, weather the citizens want to or not. These teachings and directions are not alterable, and must always be obeyed. Like the heroes of Greek Tragedy, Okonkwo had many tragic flaws, the most significant of these being hubris. Okonkwo is incredibly stubborn in that he would always let his temper get the better of him. This is shown when he becomes hungry, and when his wife is not there to bring him his lunch, she is severely beaten, despite the fact that it is a Holy Week. Okonkwo is required to pay a fine for his actions, but it is assumed that he did not learn the meaning behind his punishment. His inability to accept his emotions led to...
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