things all apart african literature Essay

Submitted By 31tonyrodriguez
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Things Fall Apart Essay

In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo wasn’t portrayed as a tragic hero in my opinion. One of the flaws that a tragic hero has is having a moment of enlightenment towards near their downfall. During that moment they have understand that they are wrong and defeated on what they initially believed in themselves. Okonkwo didn’t have this flaw because he committed suicide in the end. Another theme is that a tragic hero must be of a noble birth. This wasn’t the case for Okonkwo as he was born in a poor household due his father’s debt and unproduced farm. Okonkwo didn’t fully go through the theme that Aristotle pointed of a hero having experience a harmatia, a tragic flaw that will ulitimately leads to his peripeteia, which is a reversal fortune. Most tragic hero’s are giving pity but I couldn’t justify that for Okonkwo because of his actions throughout the story. In the beginning of the story Okonkwo is living without any status in the Ibo society. Okonkwo doesn’t meet the criteria of a noble birth that most tragic hero’s attain. In fact Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, was in debt and barely had anything to leave for his family. Unoka for the better part just wanted to enjoy life by playing music and joking with people instead of being motivated of becoming successful in the village. Money wasn’t everything to Unoka but this anger Okonkwo as he couldn’t follow his father’s footstep through life. “It was not external but lay deep within himself. It was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father,” (pg 13) and from that we get that Okonkwo is embarrassed of his father’s failure in society and vows to work hard to be the opposite. In due time he rises into higher status and holds many titles in the village. Surely people might see him as a hero at first but there are also many non-tragic heroes that also have such pasts. Okonkwo also didn’t suffer from a tragic flaw that lead to a setback of fortune. This pertains to the funeral celebration situation where things fall apart for Okonkwo after his gun accidently goes off and kills a young man. The murder didn’t happen because of pride or a fear looking weak but more of an accident that any random person could have also faced. He isn’t viewed as a tragic hero for not experience a hamartia. Al though there is a reversal to his fortune by having to leave the village with his family for seven years while losing his titles, status, burning his building and animals. He moves in back with his mother’s relatives and attempts to resolves his conflict by starting from scratch. But he ends up being frustrated because his possibility of becoming one of the lords of the clan was gone and he didn’t have the same work effort to put in. In actuality it was a normal fall from grace instead of a tragic fall in Okonkwo case of not being tragic hero. By the end of Okonkwo seven-year exile he hasn’t changed who he is after leaving the village. In order to be a tragic hero, Okonkwo had to follow his actions through self-awareness and self-knowledge. Meaning he had accept his strong and weak points, as well as learning to bettering himself but he fails to do so. If he had realized that he needed to be more humble and not insecure about what will make him look weak then he could have been a tragic hero. Okonkwo didn’t even leave anything for his family after killing himself. Especially after his uncle, Uchendu, said, “Your duty is to comfort your wives and children and take them back to your fatherland after seven years. But if you allow sorrow to weigh you down and kill you, they will die in exile.”(pg 134) It was a wake up call to Okonkwo and his entitlement of wanting to come into power because of all the suffrage he has faced throughout life. Uchendu also added on that many other men have suffered more than Okonkwo and even himself as he had buried…