Okonkwo In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Imagine being destined for greatness, but doomed to a tragic end. “That man was one of the greatest men in Umuofia,” (Achebe pg. 208). Okonkwo lived an ironic life, he was born with no noble status and gradually earned fame and wealth. He was a noble warrior, and had achieved great things, yet his tragic flaw took a toll on him. He realized too late that his fears, the forces that drove him towards success were also the reasons that brought him to his tragic end. In Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe illustrates Okonkwo as a power-hungry and determined individual with a negative attribute of his character. However, he is stubborn and impulsive; in the end, his fear of weakness ultimately leads him to his downfall. Every tragic hero always starts off with fame. Okonkwo certainly has a celebrity like status, he was a warrior. The greatest in his clan and…show more content…
Throughout the novel, Achebe emphasizes certain phrases to indicate foreshadowing. “Work no longer had for him the pleasure it used to have-” (Achebe pg. 131). This strikes the readers with alarm because this behavior is unlike the Okonkwo we have seen though the story. In depth, this proves to the readers that something is bothering Okonkwo. In detail, Achebe proves to the reader that Okonkwo was doomed to begin with. He claims that “a man could not rise beyond the destiny of his chi,” (Achebe pg 131). It can’t be confirmed if Achebe was referring to chi as karma. Okonkwo had surely did not deserve good karma, for he had not done anything to gain it. Achebe illustrated Okonkwo with high nobility, rising from nothing. His determination kept him strong in face of any threat. He had gained a great deal of success through his fears, however, Okonkwo’s inability to control his emotions led him to an immediate end. He had always fears to resemble his father -weak, shameful, failure and an abomination- , more so, he died a shameful death just like his

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