Okonkwo Tragic Hero Analysis

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What do you think of when you hear the term “tragic hero”? Perhaps your favorite superhero comes to mind or a character from your favorite science fiction novel who is trying to save the world from aliens. Either way, tragic heroes have always played a role in many of the films and television shows we have seen and books we have read, such as the novel Things Fall Apart written by Chinua Achebe. This novel tells the story about Okonkwo, a well respected man of an Ibo village in Nigeria, and the conflicts he faces with society, his family, and himself. In Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe develops Okonkwo as a tragic hero whose flaws of his fear, narrow-mindness, and stubbornness ultimately lead to his downfall. First, Okonkwo is a tragic hero because of his fear of becoming like his father, Unoka, who was weak and a failure. This fear of his leads him to kill Ikemefuna, his adopted son, who he was fond of. Chinua Achebe…show more content…
He does not want to accept the change that Umuofia has gone through within the seven years he had been exiled. Okonkwo had hoped to to make a triumphant return to Umuofia, where he was going to regain the status he had lost. But instead he finds that Umuofia has changed: the Christian missionaries have won many converts--including the men with a high title--and that the white men have established a government court of law. Okonkwo wonders why the clan has not used to violence to get rid of the white men and all they have built. Chinua Achebe demonstrates this with Okonkwo saying, “ ‘Afraid? I do not care what he does to you. I despise him and those who listen to him. I shall fight alone if I choose’ ”(Achebe 201). Okonkwo was unwilling to accept this new way of life that Umuofia wanted and he was determined to fight alone against the white men even if the clan decided not to. This makes Okonkwo a tragic hero because he does not accept change, despite good reasons to do

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