The As A Tragic Hero

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Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, characterizes plays or stories where the main character is a tragic hero, who confronts his downfall due to fate, his mistake or any other social reason as tragedies. In the novel “One foot in Eden” novel, set in the 1950s in Jocassee, a town in South Carolina, Rash tells the story of a local military veteran who suddenly disappears and the people who are involved in the case. Rather than follow the basic fiction formula of moving the plot in a straight line, Rash repeatedly switches the narration to give the story more depth. Told through the voices of the sheriff, Will Alexander; the accused farmer, Billy; his young wife, Amy; their child; Isaac, the sheriff 's deputy and Bobby, the author creates more angles than an architect. Billy Holcombe can be seen as a tragic hero in One foot in Eden because the actions he takes to save his family ironically lead to his ultimate downfall. Billy 's nobility and virtue provide his first key to success as a tragic hero. Billy Holcombe is a respectable, hard-working man, albeit an unlucky one. He is the first man in his family to own his land; he toils day and night to ensure good crops that provide for his wife, whom he loves dearly. When Billy was a child, he suffered from polio and fortunately overcame the illness with a slight limp in his leg. After going through a difficult childhood, his life finally starts to get on track after meeting Amy, a young woman who makes his heart skip a beat. They marry, but soon find themselves dealing with a number of issues. Billy suffers from sterility and is unable to provide Amy with the one thing she wants the most: a child. Billy and his wife try everything to conceive a child, but nothing seems to work. Amy turns to... ... middle of paper ... ...displays stereotypical personality of Billy. Killing Holland shows a bad image of Billy, when telling truth to Isaac shows Billy’s good Image as a man. Billy admits what he has done wrong, which leads the reader to feel sympathy for him. The reader can feel a sense of "karma" at the end of the novel because they can see how Billy’s immoral act led to his demise. Although readers see why Billy died, the reasons why he did what he did leads them to feel sad for all he lost. Billy Holcombe is the perfect example of a tragic hero. His imperfections and insecurities lead him to commit a heroic, but horrific, crime. In trying to save his family, his emotions get the best of him and cause him to create his own downfall. His guilt makes him mentally and physically sick and ultimately leads to his death. Ironically, in trying to preserve his family, he actually destroys it.

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