Okonkwo's Arrogance In Things Fall Apart

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Albert Camus once said , “The byronic hero, incapable of love, or capable only of an impossible love, suffers endlessly. He is solitary, languid, and his conditions exhaust him. If he wants to feel alive, it must be in the terrible exaltation of a brief and destructive action.” In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s arrogance and pride show him as a complex character. His anger and strong beliefs show him as a representative towards his society; However, change is unpredictable and unavoidable. Okonkwo’s motivations, character development, and interactions suggest that he is a byronic hero.

Okonkwo's rambunctious outburst and defiance of the gods shows his arrogance. In the hero source “characteristics of a byronic hero” its states “In one form or another he rejects the values and moral codes of society..”. Okonkwo's’ arrogance is shown in chapter four when he was being described as “Okonkwo was not the man to stop beating somebody half way through. Not even for fear of a goddess.”(Achebe31). This quotation from chapter four demonstrates that Okonkwo knew he would be punished for
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“The byronic hero is ‘larger than life’ in regards to his intellectual capacity, self-respect, and hypersensitivities” which is stated on the handout “characteristics of a byronic hero”. In chapter four of “Things Fall Apart” Okonkwo states “I will not have a son who cannot hold up his head in the gathering of the clan. I would sooner strangle him with my own hands. And if you stand staring at me like that” (Achebe34). This Quotation demonstrates Okonkwo’s anger problems. He rules his household with a heavy hand and resents Nwoye’s, his sons, laziness. His moodiness and bipolar problems are shown through the interactions between Okonkwo and his son, Nwoye. Okonkwo is an outspoken person who does not think before he speaks. Okonkwo Represents a byronic hero by letting his anger and hypersensitivity control

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