A comment on Okonkwo’s suicide in TFA
Things Fall Apart is by far considered a classic model of tragedy, it can be compared to other tragedies such as Macbeth and Hamlet, due to the main character in the story; Okonkwo, who happends to be the tragic hero, which is by definition someone who lives a downfall or a tragic, not only because he is evil or a bad person, but as well because of a quality in him that brings him to his fate; fear, love, or even pride. This essay will discuss the analysis of Okonkwo’s character, and the reasons behind his downfall. Okonkwo is the protagonist in Chinua Achebe’s TFA, in his thirties he is the leader of Igbo community of Umuofia, the writer describes him as “Tall and huge man with bushy eyebrows and a wide nose that gives him a very severe look, when Okonkwo walks he feels his feet barely touch the ground, like he walks on springs”. He is known as a wrestler, warrior and a successful farmer as well and a hard worker, therefore he is intolerable towards idleness. Okonkwo is well known for his temper and lack of patience, quick to anger and arrogant sometimes as he refuses to listen to what others believe as a correction of his actions. Okonkwo as described in the novel is in constant fear to be anything like his father, he hated everything that reminded it of Unoka, and he is in a never ending battle against failure, weakness and fear. This made him commit mistakes and get into trouble, as he once offended the Igbo community, got exiled for killing a kid by mistake for seven years, and he deliberately killed Ikemefuna following the Oracle’s orders and refusing the advice of letting someone else do it, some say he did it for he wanted to hold no grudge against that person, some say it’s another try of him to prove he is not weak nor afraid. Another important incident related to the British coloniser that brought Christianity to their community, Okonkwo could not tolerate this, and considered it harming the Igbo community, and again he made a mistake, a hasty one, Okonkwo killed a messenger of the British office. Therefore, his people lost faith in him, and he felt he no longer has the support of his clansmen. Okonkwo was found hanged a while after that, what a shameful end just like his father’s. Okonkwo’s story was a representation of his society, culture, and traditions. The Change that the coloniser brought under the name of civilization and education was not accepted to him, he tried fiercely to protect his community, however he failed, and by that the whole Ibo society failed, and met a very sad fate eventually.