To fulfill his dream, he starts by achieving greatness through wrestling. The moment he defeats Amalinze the Cat, who used to be an undefeated warrior up until then, is the moment Okonkwo’s fame starts increasing exponentially (3). Accordingly, that battle is what helps clansmen realize that Okonkwo is not made from the same cloth as his father, Unoka. In comparison to Unoka, who had nothing but debts, the protagonist is a focused warrior who desires to live a superior life: “[Okonkwo’s] life had been ruled by a great passion-to become one of the lords of the
He does not want to turn out to be just like his father poor, ignorance and nwaanyi (womanly in Ibo). Several time in the novel Okonkwo shows his quality of a tragic hero for example when he beat Amalinze the cat in the beginning of the novel. This gives the audience indirect characterization of strength and power. Other characteristics of a tragic hero consist of suffering more than he deserves. Being honorable and seems so immortal outside but broken into pieces inside allow the audience to relate to him.
For Okonkwo, being truly successful means becoming a better man than his father. Throughout Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is afraid that he will become like his father, who was both lazy and cowardly. Okonkwo, determined to emerge from his father’s shadow, lives his life in order to gain the respect of the other villagers. As a young man, he defeats Amalinze, a great wrestler who had gone undefeated for seven years (Achebe 1). As he grows older, he becomes a wealthy farmer, with two barns full of yams (Achebe 8).
Aristotle described a Tragic Hero as a superior man of lofty class who plays tragic imperfections and discovers his fate by his own proceedings. Similarly, in Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart”, Okonkwo is a protagonist and also considered a tragic hero who commits tragic flaws, experiences a remarkable reversal and recognition, who holds a position of power and prestige in Umuofia but his tragic flaw is his fear of weakness and failure and later discovering his fate soon after his action. Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. Okonkwo’s tragedy did not only involve him and his family, it also involved the whole society. He started as a sharecropper with no inheritance from his father.
It was deeper and more intimate than the fear of evil and capricious gods and of magic,” (Achebe 22). The quote validates that Okonkwo is terrified of failure and weakness, both traits of an unmanly character. It is quite evident that manliness is important since every respected male in Umuofia was a successful farmer or warrior, which are traits of a manly character. This concept explains the decisions that Okonkwo made when it came to his career. He was a respected warrior that fought hard for his clan, and he was a hard-working farmer that reaped yams because it “was a man’s crop,” (Achebe 31).
He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart’” (Achebe 176). This quote foreshadows the inevitable Okonkwo, the hot-headed leader rules with an ample iron fist. He believes that violence is always the answer and showing weakness is not an option. He wants to seem like the strongest person in the tribe to erase the negative connotation that his father Unoka left behind as the past leader. The novel’s main character, Okonkwo, is perceived as a tragic hero because of his unconventional leadership practices
In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe Tells a story of a warrior named Okonkwo. Okonkwo was a coward. This is what lead him to his fate. He was very proud of his village, Umuofia, Because they were a great warrior clan. Okonkwo was a very successful farmer of yams.
“The truly tragic kind of suffering is the kind produced and defiantly insisted upon by the hero himself so that, instead of making him better, it makes him worse and when he dies he is not reconciled to the law but defiant, that is, damned.” ~ W.H Auden. Tragic heroes are a common theme found in literature and are often defined as a protagonist of a tragedy that falls due to a fatal flaw. In the novel Things Fall Apart, author Chinua Achebe introduces the character of Okonkwo. Okonkwo is a “strong man”, hero, and leader of Umuofia, which is an Ibo village in Nigeria. At the conclusion of the novel, Okonkwo succumbs to pain and suffering and commits suicide which is an atrocious crime in the culture of Umuofia.
During the book, Okonkwo hates his father who acts very feminine according to the Igbo definition. Okonkwo’s actions are primarily based on his fear of becoming like his father so he rejects all characteristics that his father had. Throughout the story, we learn about how things fall apart for Okonkwo. The story starts off with Okonkwo living a normal life, beating his wives and farming, but then Ikemefuna joins the family as a tribute from another village to avoid war. Okonkwo starts to grow fond of Ikemefuna as he also has a positive influence on Nwoye, his son, because Nwoye starts to act more masculine.
The Most Masculine Man In the story Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe portraits Okonkwo, the main character, as a symbol of masculinity. His strong hatred toward his lazy father Unoka, Okonkwo adopts a extreme ideal of masculinity and strives him to achieve a title of strongest man. “Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid personal achievements. ” (1) Okonkwo’s ideal of becoming productive, wealthy, and strong defines the word “masculinity” used in Things Fall Apart.