Tragic Hero – Okonkwo
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
A tragic hero is a character that performs courageous actions but develops a tragic flaw as they move on with their lives. The effects of the flaw begin to increase and the character usually makes unwise choices. It often leads to his downfall or even death. In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is depicted as a tragic hero. He lived a life full of contradiction. He desired to be successful and achieve everything he wanted but he ended up committing suicide. The author develops a story in which Okonkwo has to make a lot of decisions and sometimes he makes the wrong choices without himself knowing, which eventually causes his own death. He is a tragic hero in the story for the sacrifices he has made and the courage he used to get his village through all the hardships.
Okonkwo’s dad, Unoka, was a lazy man who didn’t have the money to repay his debt. He was thought of as a coward and Okonkwo’s fear of becoming like his father gave him the desire to succeed, and consistently motivated him to progress through out life. Okonkwo fought really hard and became the leader of the Igbo community of Umuofia. “He was possessed by the fear of his father’s contemptible life and shameful death”. He’s described as tall and huge with “bushy eyebrows and a wide nose that gives him a very severe look.” He was masculine, respected, and wealthy. Okonkwo believed that every man should have power and that they shouldn’t show any affection to others or else they would get called women. The narrator states, “At an early age he had achieved fame as the greatest wrestler in all of the land.” In Umuofia, it’s really difficult to gain this title, it indicates ones manliness.
When Okonkwo was young, he’s the one supporting the family, not his father. He had started a farm and survived through one of the worst drought seasons. “’Since I survived that year,’ he always said, ‘I shall survive anything.’” This gives you an idea of the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document