Okonkwo: A Tragic Hero of Things Fall Apart

Categories: Things Fall Apart

Okonkwo is the main character of Things Fall Apart. He passed through many issues and bad situations in his life, such as tragedies, and many other suffering moments. But Okonkwo dealt with all of this pain in very different ways, he used all of that to become a strong man, with almost no emotions being shown.

Okonkwo feared failure, because of his father, who was untitled, and made his wife and child pass through starving situations because of lack of money.

Okonkwo always hated his father, he always visualized him as a big failure, and he was always scared of come to the same state his father was on.

Okonkwo’s story was very different from his father’s, he was a great warrior, fearless. When he was younger, he beat the cat, a warrior that remained undefeated for seven years, increasing his reputation very fast. Forward in time, Okonkwo has two wives and three kids. He was training his eldest son to be a man, and one day, he got sick.

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Okonkwo called him weak, because he interpreted that as a failure. A few time later, because of a turn of events, he got a very obedient 16 year old boy, Ikemefuna, who he got very intimate with. He saw a great warrior in him, and started training him to be a man, like he did to his other son (which he gave up on training). Ikemefuna called him father. Ogbuefi, Okonkwo’s friend, told Okonkwo that the boy needed to be killed because the oracle said so.

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The boy is took to a place where he would be killed, he tried to run, but Okonkwo caught him, and killed Ikemefuna himself. That made Okonkwo fall into a great depression, he couldn’t eat or sleep for days, and that made him stronger, as the same time as it broke him.

Months later, during the funeral of his friend, Ogbuefi, Okonkwo was holding a gun, and it accidentally went off, killing Ogbuefi’s 16 year old son. Because of that, Okonkwo was exiled from the village for seven years.

He spent this time in his motherland, received by his uncle. During these seven years away from the Tribe, he planned in coming back to his village, and get the highest rank in it, by getting more land, and marrying two more wives, which was something that not every man could do. It was the perfect plan for Okonkwo, those seven years changed him a lot.

When he came back, everything was different, the white men were in control of the village, and their religion took the entire village. Okonkwo tries to leads a rebellion to get rid of the white men. He kills their leader, waiting for his comrades to come and help him in the fight, but he realizes that no one is coming to help him, so he hangs himself, so he doesn’t get caught.

Okonkwo lived a tough life, and passed through many difficulties and suffering. He had a lazy dishonored father, who he really hated, he got a daughter that he believed she was a mistake, and that she should be a boy, his eldest son’s training begun, and it was made so that he turned into a man, but he gave up on the same because of sickness. He got another son, who he respected and loved a lot, but the oracle of the village said he needed to be killed, and Okonkwo end up killing the boy himself. Okonkwo was exiled from his village because he accidentally killed the son of his friend, and seven years later when he came back, white men had took the village, and he tried to pull a rebellion against it, and end up hanging himself. He passed through a lot of suffering for his tribe, being a tragic hero.

Even though he made such an effort to be on top, lead his village, and be “the most powerful”, he was wasted by his tribe, which was destroyed by the white men. He tried to do a last heroic act by killing the white men’s leader, but it didn’t worth in the end because his people abandoned him, and he just finished it all with suicide.

Updated: Feb 25, 2024
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Okonkwo: A Tragic Hero of Things Fall Apart. (2024, Feb 25). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/okonkwo-a-tragic-hero-of-things-fall-apart-essay

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