Okonkwo A Tragic Hero In Things Fall Apart

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In the novel Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo has a goal of being everything his father wasn’t, a leader. As he is facing difficulties in life, the decisions he’s making for a better cause despite the fear of being seen as weak leads to his death. With the decisions he has made, can he be considered a tragic hero? In chapter 2 page 13, it says “Perhaps down in his heart, Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness. It was deeper and more intimate than the fear of evil and capricious gods and of magic, the fear of the forest, and of nature, malevolent, red in tooth and claw. Okonkwo’s fear was greater than these. It was not external but lay deep within himself. It was the fear of…show more content…
Ikemefuna looked back, and the man growled at him to go on and not stand looking back. The way he said it sent cold fear down Ikemefuna’s back. His hands trembled vaguely on the black pot he carried. Why had Okonkwo withdrawn to the rear? Ikemefuna felt his legs melting under him. And he was afraid to look back. As the man who had cleared his throat drew up and raised his machete, Okonkwo looked away. He heard the blow. The pot fell and broke in the sand. He heard Ikemefuna cry, “My father, they have killed me!” as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak.” After reading this I came to realize that Ikemefuna is not the only one who is afraid when the man cleared his throat, Okonkwo is in fear too. Taking control over a situation in which he didn't need to, he killed his adopted son out of fear as being seen as weak. Where as his son having no control, feared the men with machetes and the thought of dying. Even though letting his adopted son die is a bad thing it's better than killing him yourself and in this situation he wasn't doing the right thing. Okonkwo is a leader in fear of himself for being…show more content…
It is an offense against the Earth, and a man who commits it will not be buried by his clansmen. His body is evil, and only strangers may touch it. That is why we ask your people to bring him down, because you are strangers.”. In this passage from the book Things Fall Apart Okonkwo kills himself by hanging himself from a tree. People owe their lives to the earth so committing suicide is a sin and Okonkwo must have knew this. But his loyalty to the ways of Umuofia are so strong that he'd rather die with being apart of his culture and own beliefs than conform to being a christian. To me Okonkwo is a tragic hero because he fights for a cause he believes in with the tragic flaw of fear of being like his father and even tho some think he died of a shameful death like his father, he died on his own terms and still believing his own
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