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Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Essay Illustration

Assignment id 1003019
Discipline Writing
Assignment type Essay
Words 1212
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In Chinua Achebe's Vintage 1959 novel Things Fall Apart, we're confronted with the foreign methods of the Ibo people of present-day Nigeria. The narrative is told through the experiences and often times ideas of protagonist Okonkwo, an imperfect but admired clansman whose fear of appearing weak drives each decision he makes. At the peak of conflict, Okonkwo is exiled for seven years, loses a lot of the esteem he had gained and finds his poor Chi to be to blame. Finally, this leads him to commit suicide. However, in spite of his view that his Chi is blocking his good efforts, Okonkwo does possess great Chi and free will, and it is his fear of weakness which actually attracts upon his downfall. Okonkwo has many defects that Achebe points out to people. The most critical of that is that he's afraid of being feeble, or being perceived as such. Early at 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 weaknessIt was that the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father" (Achebe 13). As the driving factor in Okonkwo's life, it plays a role in each and every step that leads him to his eventual suicide. It's evident this is really a flaw in Okonkwo's character for it is not celebrated in the culture. By showing this, Achebe is creating a classic tragic hero. The protagonist of the narrative has a fatal flaw, fear of weakness and unbalance which contributes to his downfall. Achebe would see this as a severe character flaw because of the culture that he comes from (Okafor). Okonkwo can also be unbalanced, another attribute that's frowned upon by his or her society. Wise guys, like the elder Ogbuefi Ezedu, or Okonkwo's friend Obierkia have a balance of warlike aggressio...

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