preview

Character Analysis Of Okonkwo

Good Essays
In accordance to defining a tragic hero, the protagonist is conflicted with opposing forces. In the novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the main character Okonkwo, is the depiction of a tragic hero. Okonkwo is a man who accomplished his success by hard work and the motivation to be stronger. In the beginnings, Okonkwo created his own farm by borrowing yam from the rich village man named Nwakibie. His strong willed and the dedication to never end up to be like his father, made Okonkwo strong and power. Okonkwo grew up from poverty to wealthy enough to support three wives, and many children. He was well respected by his clansman from his village. Although, Okonkwo has many great aspect in his life, his tragic flaw is the fear of becoming…show more content…
While everyone was working on their farm, Unoka did nothing but drink, dance, and just plainly prayed to the gods. Okonkwo was ashamed of him and did everything possible to never end up like his father. When the narrator stated, “With father like Unoka, Okonkwo did not have the start in life which many young men had…But he threw himself into it like one possessed. And indeed he was possessed by the fear of his father’s contemptible life and shameful death” (pg. 18). The shame of a father like Unoka drove Okonkwo into the passion of being nothing but successful in his life. Everything about Okonkwo had to be acknowledged and respected whether be his family or the people in the village. The true hatred of his father derived his power when the author stated, “Okonkwo was ruled by one passion- to hate everything that his father Unoka had loved. One of those things was gentleness and another was idleness” (pg.13). Also, another statement that represents the flaw in Okonkwo is the way he is when it comes to his father, not defeating him or fighting for the father that raised him even thought they were poor, the gesture of lowing your head to the outer of your father’s name in disgrace when the narrator stated, “ … ‘Ask my dead father of he ever had a fowl when he was alive’ Everybody laughed heartily except Okonkwo, who laughed uneasily…show more content…
It is another to sympathies for a man who believes he is powerful and respected by many when in reality, he is feared by his own family and that is another reason that leads Okonkwo to his downfall. He started positive, motivated but down the line, Okonkwo treats his wives and children very harshly. When the author mentioned, “Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did his little children” (pg.13). This is not power but a weakness when Okonkwo uses power to rule his own house, detaching himself from the emotional connection with this family rather than being frightening to live with. The sign of “gentleness” as like his father means weakness to Okonkwo even with his own family. Especially his wives, when the narrator demonstrated the lack of emotion to his wife, “Okonkwo was provoked to justifiable anger by his young wife, went to plait her hair at her friend’s house and did not return early enough to cook the afternoon meal… He walked back to his obi to await Ojiugo’s return. And when she returned he beat her very 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” (pg.29-30). Okonkwo does not even fear the goddess and the Week of Peace and ends up beating his wife to show that he owes