First of all, Okonkwo is a tragic hero by the Greek definition. a tragic hero states ), he was a man of high status and respect in his community, as Obierika stated. Okonkwo's tragic flaw is that he is terrified of looking weak like his father. Their relationship is atypical—Ezinma calls Ekwefi by her name and is treated by her. Okonkwo as Tragic Hero in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe In my opinion, he chose this type of hero to show the correlation between Okonkwo's rise and and respect in his community, as Obierika stated near the end of the book.
This directly led to his seven-year exile from Umuofia. That had been his life-spring.Practise IOP- Okonkwo as a tragic hero
And he had all but achieved it. Then everything had been broken. He had been cast out of his clan like a fish onto a dry, sandy beach, panting. A classic Greek tragedy typically has a main character with a tragic flaw. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness. It was not external but lay deep within himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father.
His flaw lived on throughout his entire life and the anger and fear of resembling his father eventually led to his own death. The next component of this story that makes Okonkwo a tragic hero is his hubris. He is also arrogant and dismissive of others, especially those who contradict him. Without looking at the man Okonkwo had said: That was why he had called him a woman. His dismissiveness towards this man is just one example of his hubris. Still a young man in his thirties, Okonkwo has become a wealthy farmer of yams — a sacred crop — and supports three wives, a significant indicator of wealth and "manliness.
Because Okonkwo is honored as one of the greatest men in his community, he will be asked to look after a young man who will be given as a peace offering to Umuofia by the neighboring village of Mbaino, which hopes to avoid war with Umuofia. Analysis Although not indicated in this chapter, the events of Things Fall Apart take place in the late s and early s, just before and during the early days of the British Empire's expansion in Nigeria.
The novel depicts details about life in an African culture much different from Western culture. In this chapter, Achebe reveals the following aspects of Igbo culture: Legends and traditions the fight with a spirit of the wild by the founder of their village Symbols of honor titles Indicators of wealth yams, cowries Marriage customs more than one wife The reckoning of time markets, a week of four days Social rituals kola nuts, alligator pepper, chalk, small talk, and proverbs Music, entertainment, food, and drink In his goal to demonstrate the complexity and sophistication of Igbo society, Achebe gradually introduces these details when they are relevant to the story.
Chapter 1 describes Okonkwo's principal accomplishments that establish his important position in Igbo society. These details alone provide insight into Okonkwo's character and motivation. Driving himself toward tribal success and recognition, he is trying to bury the unending shame that he feels regarding the faults and failures of his late father, Unoka. Essentially, Okonkwo exhibits qualities of manhood in Igbo society. Familiar with Western literature and its traditional forms, Achebe structures Things Fall Apart in the tradition of a Greek tragedy, with the story centered around Okonkwo, the tragic hero.
Aristotle defined the tragic hero as a character who is superior and noble, one who demonstrates great courage and perseverance but is undone because of a tragic personal flaw in his character.
In this first chapter, Achebe sets up Okonkwo as a man much respected for his considerable achievements and noble virtues — key qualities of a tragic hero. Okonkwo's tragic flaw is his obsession with manliness; his fear of looking weak like his father drives him to commit irrational acts of violence that undermine his nobleness.
In the chapters ahead, the reader should note the qualities and actions that begin to reveal the tragic flaw in Okonkwo's otherwise admirable actions, words, ideas, and relationships with others. At the end of Chapter 1, Achebe foreshadows the presence of Ikemefuna in Okonkwo's household and also the teenage boy's ultimate fate by referring to him as a "doomed" and "ill-fated lad. Throughout the book, titles are reference points by which members of Igbo society frequently compare themselves with one another especially Okonkwo.
Things Fall Apart
These titles are not conferred by higher authorities, but they are acquired by the individual who can afford to pay for them.
As a man accumulates wealth, he may gain additional recognition and prestige by "taking a title. In the process of taking a title, the man pays significant initiation fees to the men who already hold the title. A Umuofian man can take as many as four titles, each apparently more expensive than its predecessor.
A man with sufficient money to pay the fee begins with the first level — the most common title — but many men cannot go beyond the first title. Each title taken may be shown by physical signs, such as an anklet or marks on the feet or face, so others can determine who qualifies for certain titles.
The initiation fees are so large that some writers have referred to the system as a means for "redistributing wealth. Glossary gyre a circular or spiral motion; a revolution. The word appears in the book's opening quotation from a W.