Preview
Preview

Okonkwo as Tragic Hero in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

:: 4 Works Cited
Length: 1149 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

One of the most commonly asked questions about the novel Things Fall Apart is: why did Achebe choose a tragic hero, Okonkwo, as the main character in the story. According to Nnoromele, “A hero, in the Igbo cultural belief system, is one with great courage and strength to work against destabilizing forces of his community, someone who affects, in a special way, the destinies of others by pursuing his own. He is a man noted for special achievements. His life is defined by ambivalence, because his actions must stand in sharp contrast to ordinary behavior”(Nnoromele). In my opinion, he chose this type of hero to show the correlation between Okonkwo’s rise and fall in the Igbo society to the rise and fall of the Igbo culture itself. Many commentators have come up with various reasons for Okonkwo’s failure in the novel. Some say that it is just his chi that causes him to be a failure; however others believe it is because he is incapable of dealing with his culture deteriorating before his eyes. In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s character as a tragic hero is a result of his chi, inability to cope with the destruction of the Igbo culture, and ultimately, his own suicide.
First of all, I feel that one of the main reasons why Okonkwo is considered a tragic hero is due to the weakness of his chi. His chi plays an important role in the novel because, according to Igbo culture, every time something goes wrong it is a result of bad chi. Throughout the beginning of Things Fall Apart Okonkwo seems to be one with his chi and everything seems to be going well. From the beginning the reader is meant to think that Okonkwo can overcome anything that he faces and this his chi is quite heroic up to this point in the story(Friesen).This i...


... middle of paper ...


...art, but in my opinion these are the most influential.



Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. Anchor Books. New York, 1994. Print.

Criswell, Stephen. "Okonkwo As Yeatsian Hero: The Influence of W. B. Yeats on Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart." The Literary Criterion 30.4: 1-14. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 127. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000. Literature Resource Center. Web. 8 Apr. 2010.

Friesen, Alan R. "Okonkwo's Suicide as an Affirmative Act: Do Things Really Fall Apart?" Postcolonial Text 2.4 (2006): 1-11. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 278. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Literature Resource Center. Web. 8 Apr. 2010.

Nnoromele, Patrick C. “The Plight of A Hero in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart [1].” College Literature 27.2 (2000): 146. Literature Resource Center. Web. 25 Mar. 2010.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Okonkwo as Tragic Hero in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay - One of the most commonly asked questions about the novel Things Fall Apart is: why did Achebe choose a tragic hero, Okonkwo, as the main character in the story. According to Nnoromele, “A hero, in the Igbo cultural belief system, is one with great courage and strength to work against destabilizing forces of his community, someone who affects, in a special way, the destinies of others by pursuing his own. He is a man noted for special achievements. His life is defined by ambivalence, because his actions must stand in sharp contrast to ordinary behavior”(Nnoromele)....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1149 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Okonkwo as a Tragic Hero in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Essay - In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Okonkwo is an example of a tragic hero. Okonkwo accomplishes and succeeds in many noble and brave tasks but also has some flaws that lead to his downfall. The definition of a tragic hero according to dictionary.com is: a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat. In the Novel, Thngs Fall Apart Okonkwo is a tragic hero in the fact that he is the protagonist, a character or superiority, he has tragic flaws, and his egoistic personality which ends up beaming his own destruction....   [tags: change, flaw, downfall]
:: 1 Works Cited
747 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Okonkwo's Tragic Flaws in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay -        An increasing amount of contemporary literature traces its origins back to the early works of Greece. For ages, humans have fascinated themselves with the impossible notion of perfection. Unrealistic expectations placed on those who were thought to be the noblest or most honorable individuals have repeatedly led to disappointment and frustration, either on the part of those particular individuals or those they influence. Classic characters, like Odysseus and Oedipus for instance, exemplify the excess of some positive character trait, like pride or honesty, which ironically leads to their personal misfortune....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
3097 words
(8.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay - Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart In Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is a tragic hero. Aristotle’s Poetics defines a Tragic Hero as a good man of high status who displays a tragic flaw (“hamartia”) and experiences a dramatic reversal (“peripeteia”), as well as an intense moment of recognition (“anagnorisis”). Okonkwo is a leader and hardworking member of the Igbo community of Umuofia whose tragic flaw is his great fear of weakness and failure. Okonkwo’s fall from grace in the Igbo community and eventual suicide, makes Okonkwo a tragic hero by Aristotle’s definition....   [tags: Achebe Tragic Hero] 975 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Character of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay - The Character of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart What makes a successful man. This, in itself, is a culture bound question because it can vary from culture to culture. However, in the perception of Okonkwo, the main character in Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart, the measure of a man's success is based on two elements, material acquisition and growth, and physical prowess. This is ironic for Okonkwo since his people's typical idea of success seems to be constructed of a complex, strong spiritual culture, seemingly able to deal in traditional ways with any challenge in nature and human experience....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1597 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Inflexibility and Hubris of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart - The Inflexibility and Hubris of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart This novel is the definitive tragic model about the dissolution of the African Ibo culture by Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe. Okonkwo, a great and heroic leader, is doomed by his inflexibility and hubris. He is driven by fear of failure. He had no patience with unsuccessful men. He had no patience with his father. Unoka, for that was his father's name, had died ten years ago. In his day he was lazy and improvident, and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
957 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Fate and Free Will in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart - Fate and Free Will in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart     The tragic story of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart offers many examples of Igbo beliefs regarding free will and fate. Religious life for the Igbo was thoroughly intertwined with secular life. According to the text, the Igbo believed in fate; that nothing happened by chance as every happenstance was the result of Chukwu or God's will. Yet the Igbo also believed that ancestors, lesser gods, and their own chi or personal god also influenced the lives of the living....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1240 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Okonkwo's Self-Destructive Masculinity in Things Fall Apart - Okonkwo's Self-Destructive Masculinity in Things Fall Apart The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a story that opens the reader's mind to an entirely different way of living in a Nigerian village. Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930, perhaps this is why he writes a whole book on a Nigerian village and introduces to us the ways of life for the Nigerian people. From the first page of the book to the last, Achebe allows the reader to enter the mind of the main character Okonkwo. Okonkwo is the leader of his village and is very respected for his many achievements....   [tags: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe]
:: 1 Works Cited
2752 words
(7.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay - Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart    Okonkwo, as presented by Chinua Achebe in the novel Things Fall Apart, wished to be revered by all as a man of great wealth, power and control--the antithesis of his father. Okonkwo was driven by the need to exhibit utmost control over himself and others; he was an obsessive and insecure man. Okonkwo's father, Unoka, was "a failure," "a loafer," and "People laughed at him" (1426). This would bring great shame to any man as it did for Okonkwo. In Umuofia "a man is judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father" (1427)....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays Chinua Achebe Papers] 962 words
(2.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Okonkwo as Classic Greek Hero in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay - Okonkwo as Classic Greek Hero in Things Fall Apart       A sense of foreboding envelops us from the first. We sense all will not end well for Umuofia. The chill of fear grips us as the world of Okonkwo and his clan truly falls apart. Okonkwo will need all of his power to fight the forces against his world, but tragically he is crippled by the most destructive malady of all, fear of himself. Achebe employs the form of classical Greek tragedy to tell his African tale of the rise and fall of Okonkwo....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1742 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]