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Okonkwo as Vintage Greek Hero in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay

Project id 1008679
Subject area Writing
Document type Essay
Words 1461
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Okonkwo as Classic Greek Hero in Things Fall Apart A sense of foreboding envelops us from the first. We sense all will not end well for Umuofia. The chill of fear grips us since the entire world of Okonkwo and his clan truly falls apart. Okonkwo will require all of his capacity to resist the forces against his entire world, but tragically he's crippled by the most destructive malady of fear of himself. Achebe employs the form of classical Greek tragedy to tell his African tale of the rise and fall of Okonkwo. This most fearsome warrior has shown himself from the old age as worthy of honor and respect. He is driven by his father's legacy of shame and has no use for unsuccessful guys. But since he projects his picture of power, we find that "His whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and weakness." (p. 13) The origins of this fear go profound. "It was not external but lay deep within himself. It was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father" (p. 13) For Okonkwo, all things are measured against the characteristics of the father. To be successful means to be manly. And manliness suggests action, physicality, construction, and viewing things in black and white. He is respected for his achievement and hard work, but others notice "Okonkwo's brusqueness in coping with less successful men." (p. 26) To him, they are not men in any respect. They are weak; as weak as girls. And anything related to idleness and enjoyment equate with weakness. "And so Okonkwo was ruled by one passion- to hate everything that his father Unoka had loved. Among these things was gentleness and another was idleness." (p. 13) Purposefully, Okonkwo has formed the powerful fortress by which he deals with the entire world. O.. .

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