Things Fall Apart Essay

717 WordsDec 14, 20113 Pages
The presence of a tragic hero has been around in nearly every novel of some nature. Throughout the book, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe presents many aspects of how the tragic hero, Okonkwo, portrays the author's own characterization of a tragic hero. Okonkwo is a tragic hero in the typical sense: although he is a superior character, his tragic flaw, the equation of manliness with rashness, anger, violence, and arrogance brings about his own destruction. Okonkwo, the main protagonist of the novel, expresses many stereotypical personality traits of a hero. The narrator states, "At an early age he had achieved fame as the greatest wrestler in all of the land."(27) In the village Umuofia, where he lived as well as the other tribal villages, this title was held with great esteem. Gaining this title was a huge indicator of one’s manliness. Another characteristic of being manly is how well one performs in war. "He was not afraid of war. He was a man of action, a man of war."(8) Early in Okonkwo's life, he had shown incredible proficiency in two inter-tribal wars. War is where generally a young man like Okonkwo grows to be a hero. At a young age, Okonkwo was supporting his family instead of his father, Unoka. Okonkwo had started a farm of yams in his early teens and survived through one of the worst drought seasons the elders of the tribe could remember. Although, because of these accomplishments happening at such a young age, Okonkwo took the success to his heart and became very arrogant in every aspect of his life. Okonkwo had achieved great success when most kids his age were helping their fathers. The arrogance in his life was focused in and around his tribe and daily life. When at a meeting to discuss the next ancestral feast, Okonkwo stated to a man with no title, "This meeting is for men"(22) Arrogance is characteristic of a tragic hero because near the end

More about Things Fall Apart Essay

Open Document