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Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart

11 Pages 2769 Words October 2017

A tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle is a character who is noble in nature, has a tragic flaw and discovers his fate by his own actions. In Things Fall Apart, a novel by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo can be considered a tragic hero because he meets all of Aristotle's criteria and by being a successful and respected leader in Umuofia, having a tragic flaw, and discovering his fate soon after his action. Every society needs a leader; every leader has to be reasonable in order to make justice. In Things Fall Apart by Chenua Achebe the society in question is the Igbo. Order and hierarchy characterise the Igbo society. Both concepts are so deeply rooted that their alteration forcibly engenders chaos in society. Okwonko was the leader of the Ibos. For many people, he was considered a feared and reckless leader because of the way he used to manage the situations within the tribe and more specifically with the arrival of the English Christians. On the other hand, one can assume that he was not a bad person, a deep look in his psychological aspect could better explain that everything he did was not on a bad purpose but yes for the good of the people of his village.
Okonkwo is a self-made, well-respected member of the Umuofia clan. Though outwardly stern and powerful, much of his life is dictated by internal fear. His greatest, overwhelming worry is that he will become like his father; lazy, unable to support his family, and cowardly. Okonkwo considers many of his father’s characteristics to be feminine. According to C.I. Innes the atmosphere in which Okonkwo had grown determines how he would behave, “Perhaps one of the most significant things in Things Fall Apart is the way in which it demonstrates the intricate relationship between a man’s individual psychology and the social context in which he has grown up” (Innes 24). Unlike his father, Okonkwo wants to be a different ruler; he does not allow himself to make mistakes. This means that Oko...

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