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Ashamed of his incapable father, Okonkwo felt that anything that resembled Unoka or anything that his father enjoyed was weak and unnecessary.
Okonkwo’s first prominent flaw is his fear of failure, which is greatly influenced by his father, Unoka, a very lazy and carefree man.
He had a reputation of being “poor and his wife and children had barely enough to eat…he was a loafer” (4).
We are also introduced to the views of his village, Umuofia.
Finally, we see how things fall apart when these beliefs and customs are confronted by those of the white missionaries.
“Okonkwo was ruled by one passion – to hate everything that his father Unoka had loved. Okonkwo did not receive anything from his father and he had to start out with nothing.
One of those things was gentleness and another was idleness” (p. His goal in life was to obtain great wealth and to have many wives and children.Like typical tragic heroes in other literature, he suffers a terrible death in the end.Despite his honorable and respectable social status, Okonkwo’s tragic flaws, fear of failure and anger, bring about his own destruction.This flaw eventually brings about his downfall at the end when he continues to fight stubbornly against the white Christians since he believes giving up shows weakness.Okonkwo’s uncontrollable anger is another flaw that prevents him from true greatness and ultimately destroys his life.A tragic hero is someone of superior qualities and status, who suffers a reversal of fortune due to major character flaws.In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Achebe portrays his own characterization of a tragic hero through Okonkwo, the main character.Okonkwo is one of the most powerful men in the Igbo tribe: “Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond…he had brought honour to his village by throwing the Cat” (3).This suggests that in his society, power is attained by achieving greatness and fame, either through fighting or wrestling.To discipline Nwoye, he becomes very rough on his son.For example, when Nwoye overhears that Ikemefuna was to be “taken home the next day, [Nwoye] burst into hears, whereupon his father beat him heavily” (40).