Okonkwo's Downfall

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Think of the heroes we see in movies, the ones that save the world, who do nothing but good and for all the right reasons. Now, compare that to a tragic hero, which is defined as someone who falls due to their inevitable destruction of themself. The only difference is their demise. In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the author writes of Okonkwo, a man not good nor bad, but one who carries himself with arrogance and is rewarded with honor. Okonkwo that is, the main character in the novel, came from nothing and built his envied life out of spite and resentment. Whatever good he did was for his own ego and approbation. Okonkwo is a celebrated figure in his village and did cause his own demise, but unfortunately does not possess the crucial…show more content…
In the novel the audience reads a shocking piece in where Okonkwo kills the boy who called him father while under direct orders not to. “Father, they’ve hurt me” cried the boy as he ran towards Okonkwo for help, but Okonkwo did not help, he drew his machete and finished the boy. Okonkwo was too afraid to be seen as weak if he didn’t. (Achebe 61). Okonkwo killed his son. And with that remorse of doing so he begins his journey of self destruction. This is all he knows, to shut down and behave in such a manner where refusal to show grief is necessary for his growth. As mentioned earlier Okonkwo also beat his wives and children. Okonkwo was a damaged man who for fear of being seen to resemble any aspect of his father lived in anger; something Unoka seldom showed. This damage carried through into his emotion ties like his wives and children and frequently beat his family to show masculinity. “Okonkwo knew she was not speaking the truth… And when she returned he beat her heavily. In his anger he had forgotten that it was the Week of Peace… But Okonkwo was not the man to stop beating somebody half-way through, not even for fear of a goddess.” (Achebe 29-30). Even besides the frequent beatings because although wrong, were normalized in Umuofia, Okonkwo had irreparable anger issues that caused him to lash out at anyone who crossed him in an…show more content…
Rather than being killed by the men he despised he took his own life. Actions have consequences and in killing three people he realized he was not exempt from that rule. Upon his newfound cognizance he took a cowards way out which is also an abomination to their clan. While Okonkwo was an impressive figure to the people of Umuofia because of the warrior he had become for his own self-gratification he died just like his father; titleless. If Okonkwo hadn’t been so petrified of being seen as weak he could’ve lived to be more, but the persona he built wasn’t prepared to enter his new world of an

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