Fear of failure and weakness dominates Okonkwo throughout his life. At first this fear motivates him to rise to success by working diligently and doing everything his father did not do. However, even when Okonkwo establishes an honorable reputation, fear of failure continues to overwhelm him and drives him to perform acts that lead to his suffering. One example of this is when the men of Umuofia decide that Ikemefuna must be killed and Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna even though he is told not to partake in the killing of Ikemefuna. Okonkwo panics when Ikemefuna turns to him and cries for help, and without thinking, Okonkwo slays Ikemefuna with his machete.
According to Webster’s dictionary, a tragic hero is a protagonist that is otherwise perfect except for flaws that are intrinsic to his or her character, which often leads to his or her demise. In Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo, the protagonist was unlike tragic heroes such as Oedipus, Iago and Beowulf, because he was not born into nobility, but had to rise to fame and earn respect through his exceptional stamina, hard work and his historic unrivaled success at defeating the famous Amalinze the Cat. Like Beowulf and Oedipus, Okonkwo shares traits that are characteristic of a tragic hero. These traits exposed his mortal fear of failure, his fear of weakness and his fear of becoming like his father who was lazy and poor. Okonkwo also possesses an unwavering pride and an irrepressible anger.
These two stories show how fear can cause the bond of friendship and community or hatred which resulted in alienation. The two character, Lee Strunk and Dave Jenson, show how a mans reaction to fear can affect him. In the story "Enemies," Jenson slowly begins to isolate himself as a way to keep away from Strunk. He views everyone as the enemy making his foxholes near the perimeter and always keeping his back covered. This constant fear ate way at Jenson until he finally lost his sanity.
Creon had numerous opportunities to realize he had too much pride, and that his pride was hurting himself and others, but he was too blind t... ... middle of paper ... ...lines 1445-1446). Creon just could not take the guilt anymore, knowing that the cause of their death was his fault, all because of his excessive pride. Pride can be portrayed as confidence, it can bring one great success, but it is a deadly emotion that can also take everything away from one when it exaggerates. When it is too late to fix an issue, the only thing left are regrets of what could have been said or done to prevent the obstacles caused. Works Cited Sophocles, Robert Fagles, Bernard MacGregor Walker.
Reality, on the other hand, is always trustworthy, and it is wiser to simply accept and adjust to the faults and imperfections of a society rather than to try to fight them like Holden and Gatsby did. Both men were unwilling to relinquish their precious dreams, yet in the end, that no longer mattered because society took them anyway and annihilated them. The downfall of both these characters demonstrates the importance of staying grounded and never veering too far off the path of reality, because dreams alone cannot serve as a sufficient foundation on which to build a prosperous, fruitful life.
The way Gatsby refuses to sacrifice his ideals is admirable, although many saw it as foolish. Jay Gatsby died because of these ideals, and can almost be seen as a martyr for his own beliefs and idea of perfection, or the American Dream. Gatsby's good friend, neighbor, and the narrator of this novel thinks very highly of the complicated Gatsby. "Your worth the whole rotten bunch of them put together,"
In literature, a hero is fundamentally a paragon of moral strength while a villain is a challenger of virtue. As the protagonist of Charlotte Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff fulfills the broadest definition of a literary hero but this only thinly veils his dark delight in causing torment that places him squarely in the realms of villainy. His only trace of humanity is revealed by the transcendent love he shares with Catherine. It is this value that evokes sympathy from the audience and mitigates his immorality, rendering him an antihero rather than a villain. Brontë’s choice to portray Heathcliff so heinously allows vengeance to overwhelm love as the salient theme of the novel and therefore elucidates the darkest and most destructive motivations of mankind.
However, despite his belief that his Chi is blocking his good efforts, Okonkwo does have good Chi and free will, and it is his fear of weakness that truly brings upon his downfall. Okonkwo has many flaws that Achebe points out to us. The most critical of which is that he is afraid of being weak, or being perceived as such. Early in the Novel Achebe writes, “Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness…It was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father” (Achebe 13).
However, he must fight against his manly pride, which reminds him that killing someone should not bother him. However, he has trouble accepting this, but must for fear of being considered weak, like a "shivering old woman" (Achebe 45). Another instance of Okonkwo's hot temper arises while he and some other men are locked up in a cell and Okonkwo reaffirms how he believes they should have killed Mr. Smith. A messenger overhears this remark and beats each of the men on their backs and heads with a large stick. A final illustration of Okonkwo's rash actions leading to suffering for himself and those around him occurs when he hastily kills the head messenger who comes to Umuofia to break up a town meeting.
But he is a character whom Steinbeck sets up for disaster, a character whose innocence only seems to ensure his inevitable destruction. George Like Lennie, George can be defined by a few distinct characteristics. He is short-tempered but a loving and devoted friend, whose frequent protests against life with Lennie never weaken his commitment to protecting his friend. George’s first words, a stern warning to Lennie not to drink so much lest he get sick, set the tone of their relationship. George may be terse and impatient at times, but he never strays from his primary purpose of protecting Lennie.