Achebe effectively framed his story around the rise and fall of a tragic hero named Okonkwo. According to Dictionary.com (2011), a tragic hero is defined as “a literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy.” In the beginning, Okonkwo is a powerful and much respected villager in Umuofia. “But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness” (13). This fear is the tragic flaw that threatens Okonkwo’s power and position with clansmen and the Igbo people. Eventually his life falls apart.
Achebe’s story is also framed around the village of Umuofia’s cultural traditions. Umuofia’s confrontation and struggle with colonialism from the West is effectively portrayed in the story. “The white man had indeed brought a lunatic religion, but he had also built a trading store and for the first time palm-oil and kernel became things of great price, and much money fl...
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... father, and he succeeded in destroying his relationship with his son Nwoye.
Achebe, C. (1959) Things fall apart, (1st Ed.) Anchor Books, New York, NY
Hoegberg, D. (1999). Principle and practice: the logic of cultural violence in Achebe’s
things fall apart. College Literature 26(1), 69-78.
Kirszner, L. G., & Mandel, S. R. (2010). Compact Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing
(7th Ed.) Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Larson, C. R. (1998) Okonkwo in his time. World & I, 13(3), 298.
Nnoromele, P. C. (2000). The plight of a hero in Achebe’s things fall apart. College
Literature, 27(2), 146-155.
Saltau, M. (2003). Inflexibility brings tribe undone; resources text talk. The Age
(Melbourne, Austrialia), 7.
Tragic hero. (n.d.). (2011). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tragic hero
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