What makes Okonkwo a tragic hero

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A tragedy is a serious drama that describes a conflict between the main character, or tragic hero, and a superior force which eventually leads to a disastrous ending. Tragic heroes often have a characteristic that cause them to break down, and end up in a unfortunate results. The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, with Okonkwo being the tragic hero, is a tragedy that portrays the African perspective of westernization of Africa. The main character Okonkwo is a well respected man in his tribe Umuofia. Since his father Unoka was not a hard working man and did not live a productive life, Okonkwo had nothing to learn or inherit from him. Instead, he had to work very hard himself to get to the position he was in. He had only one fear and that was “to resemble his father” (17, ch.2). His obsession with success, which is one of his tragic flaws, stops him from seeing what is really going around and from having a better outcome. Many times, tragic flaws cause the tragic heroes to die or face downfall and Okonkwo’s case was not any different. He never wanted to end up like his father who died a shameful death, but ironically, he kills himself and “will be buried like a dog” (191, ch.25). Things Fall Apart meets certain criteria to be considered a tragedy. Just like many other tragedies, the main character Okonkwo, who had to face an unfortunate ending, was a good person and did not mean harm to anyone. All he wanted to do was to be successful to serve his ancestors and for his children to be successful as well and have good lives. Also, his tribe Umuofia falls apart as their tradition and culture become replaced by something new. Their tradition was what held the community together and brought everyone together, but when that was taken away, there was nothing else left to hold them together. Overall purpose of Achebe in writing this novel was to describe what the

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