According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a hero is a person who is “admired for achievements and noble qualities”, or “one who shows great courage” (Hero). Above all else, a hero is compassionate and humble. Heroism is defined by what is in a person’s heart, not how many yams he can sow. Okonkwo shows great strength as a wrestler but falls short when it comes to compassion and humility and therefore can not be called a hero. Okonkwo was raised by his father Unoka who never earned any titles. Unoka was a sensitive man who never relished at the thought of war, but found joy in playing his flute. Unoka did not have the greatest luck when it came to farming, this caused him to end up in a lot of debt that he couldn’t pay back. Unlike his father, Okonkwo had no problem with the idea of war. Okonkwo grew up resenting his father for not being stronger and more masculine. Okonkwo is constantly fearing that he will end up a failure like his father. This fear has caused him to abandon the emotions that make him seem weak like pain, sadness, love and acceptance. He …show more content…
He does not know how to relate to other people. He regularly beats his wives and children for not living up to his expectations of them. Nwoye,Okonkwo’s son, is much like what Unoka was in Okonkwo’s eyes, both are lazy and incompetent. Okonkwo is convinced that constantly beating him will make him stronger, but he is only driving his son away further. All Nwoye has ever wanted is his father’s acceptance and approval. Nwoye tries to act more manly and less like a child, but even that will not stop the beatings. Okonkwo’s wives have learned over the years to stay out of Okonkwo’s way, but sometimes they slip up. When one is being reprimanded, the others try to talk some sense into Okonkwo but they know that if they get too close he will beat them as
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After Ikemefuna's entrance into Nwoye's life, their brotherly relationship is the reason behind Nwoye's interest in new and mature practices, which changes his behavior and relationship with his father. At the beginning of the novel, Okonkwo is convinced that Nwoye demonstrated traits of laziness and weakness. He thought that by constantly beating his son, he would give up his indolent habits. The beatings and the hostile relationship between Nwoye and his father negatively influenced his character. In the novel, Nwoye is described as "developing into a sad-faced youth (Achebe, 14).
Prompt 2 Okonkwo is driven by his hatred of his father and the fear he will become like him. Okonkwo saw his father, Unoka, as a coward and is ashamed to be his son. Everything that Okonkwo does is meant to set him apart from the legacy of his father. First, this is evident in his beating of his wives and even his aggression with his children. He is trying to show his strength and ensure he is not portrayed to be like his father: powerless and incapable.
Okonkwo’s greatest character flaw is his fear of weakness and failure. Okonkwo would let his emotions control his actions regardless of the consequences, he would use his fists instead of his words getting him into more trouble then needed be. In the book Things Fall Apart Achebe states, “He had a slight stammer and whenever he was angry and could not get his words out quick enough, he would use his fists. ”(1). This excerpt supports that when Okonkwo could not speak he would let his actions speak for him, whenever he felt slightly weak he resorts to fighting.
Okonkwo constantly struggled to create the same masculine character in Nwoye that he made for himself and constantly found a reflection of his effeminate father, Unoka, in Nwoye. Chapter two describes the relationship between Okonkwo and Nwoye in Nwoye’s youth. “Okonkwo’s first son, Nwoye, was then twelve years old but was already causing his father great anxiety for his incipient laziness... He sought to correct him by constant nagging and beating” (13-14). Okonkwo’s efforts to change Nwoye’s resemblance of Unoka were causing their relationship to be pushed apart because of Okonkwo’s violence and Nwoye’s resistance.
A tragic hero is a term that describes a character who displays certain characteristics which affect their future significantly. In Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo’s fate as a tragic hero to an extent is greatly true as he portrays hamartia, a fatal flaw, and hubris, excessive pride. Even though the author describes Okonkwo as a hardworking, African farmer, it contradicts his rash decisions following numerous events. Therefore, Okonkwo’s tragedy is true as his fear of weakness and excessive pride lead him to his downfall. Even though Achebe sets Okonkwo to his downfall, it is evident that Okonkwo is a great hero despite his rash behavior and temper.
Would people kill if it is to protect what is dear to people? Many people have lost things dear to them. For some people, it might have been a family. For other people, it might have been an item or an identity. Some individuals have lost these things due to colonization.
In the book “Things Fall Apart“ Okonkwo is a very strong man and from time to time he starts showing his true self. He has a lot of responsibilities and other things he has to do around the living environment and interact with lots of people. Okonkwo changes from being that strong man, to a man who feels like his tribe is not with him when he wants to go to war with the missionaries. For someone like Okonkwo a lot of people looks up to him and while in the tribe Okonkwo beats his wives and children. Not good behavior for someone who is supposedly looked at as strong.
These sudden behaviors against his son nwoye completely make him to adapt opposite ideals from his father Okonkwo just like okonkwo and his
Unoka was described as lazy, improvident and not capable of thinking about tomorrow. From this Okonkwo was ashamed of his father and strives to be nothing like him. Okonkwo’s hatred towards his father has hardened his heart and has made him incapable of being a person of compassion and understanding throughout the novel. His hatred for his father has made him fear failure and weakness throughout the story. His fear of failure has brought him to his downfall.
His fear of weakness and failure is derived from his father, Unoka’s failures, which ignite Okonkwo’s misogynistic views. Throughout his lifetime, Okonkwo associates femininity with weakness because of Unoka, who was called an “agbala” or woman by the people of Umuofia. Since women have this reputation for weakness, Okonkwo lives with constant fear that he will be given the same title as his father. Okonkwo’s first son, Nwoye’s effeminacy reminds Okonkwo of his own father. He says, "I have done my best to make Nwoye grow into a man, but there is much of his mother in him ."(Achebe, 66).
As a child, Nwoye is the frequent object of his father's criticism and remains emotionally unfulfilled. Okonkwo, “wanted Nwoye to grow into a tough man capable of ruling his father’s household when he was dead and gone to join the ancestors”(38). When Nwoye finds out that it is Okonkwo who killed a “brother” who he is extremely fond of, and grows very close with, he loses all appreciation for Okonkwo and decides to go against his father and his cultures.
Okonkwo’s values are restricted to physical strength, power, and prosperity, and when the Europeans suddenly arrive, the cultural convergence prompts Okonkwo to respond with even more violence. While the majority of his tribe, including his son Nwoye, is open to considering
Fear is the core cause of the dramatic shift of lifestyle for both Okonkwo and Nwoye. Through the management of reputation and the avoidance of their father’s likeness, Okonkwo and Nwoye built new lives for themselves. Okonkwo sought power and authority to prove his masculinity and make up for Unoka’s reputation as a weak man. He did this to the point where manliness became his character. Fearlessness and violence were masculine qualities that in Igbo culture signifies strength and influence.
His father was the exact opposite of what the Igbo people stand for. Unoka, Okonkwo’s father, is a “coward [who] could not bear the sight of blood” (Achebe 6). In turn, Okonkwo became a ruthless warrior who was known across the different tribes. The worst aspect of Unoka is that he was considered to be a failure. This caused Okonkwo “even as a little boy [to resent] his father’s failure” (13).
The post colonial novel, "Things fall apart" by Chinua Achebe depicts its protagonist Okonkwo as great person who falls into the world of chaos to find his own place through his strength and achievements. Okonkwo in few parts of novel touches the traces of epic hero while in other parts touches the tragic hero characteristics. However Okonkwo 's suicide in the end turns the table to reader to view him through different lens than epic hero or tragic hero. According to Aristotle in his poetics, the tragic hero is an intermediate person who is filled with tragic flaw(hubris /hamartia)