Tragic Character and Plot in Things Fall Apart Essay

Robbie Jones
Ms. Cheney
English 1 Honors Period 1
22 May 2012
Tragic Character and Plot in Things Fall Apart
Despite being written in 1959 and set in Nigeria. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe reads much like a Grecian calamity. AmidstPrinciples from Aristotle’s theory of calamity in the Poeticss are apparent throughout the novel. and contribute to the development of the supporter and the incidents of the secret plan. Amid the images of slaves. missionaries. and western colonialism. Achebe uses these rules to make a tragic character and secret plan that carrypropel his narrative.




Components of a the tragic character incorporated into the novel are present in the supporter. Okonkwo. FirstIn him. the construct of tragic flaw. a tragic defect in the supporter. is apparent in Okonkwo. His life is driven by ahis overmastering fright of failure. It is this fright that restrictsprevents him from demoing sensitiveness or any other mark of failing when interacting with other charactershis household or friends:

Okonkwo ruled his family with a heavy manus. His married womans. particularly the youngest. lived in ageless fright of his fiery pique. and so did his small kids [ … ] . [ … ] his whole life was dominated by fright. the fright of failure and of failing. ( 13 ) Time and clip once more. Okonkwo’s tragic defect influences his actions in a negative manner. Second. Okonkwo displays consistence in his personality. even to the point of adamance. Although there are many chances for him to alter his wonts. he can non free himself of the fright of turning out like his male parent. When Okonkwo and his household are exiled to his fatherland for seven old ages. Okonkwo’s uncle. Uchendu. observes the mode in which Okonkwo treats his household. He tells him. “Your responsibility is to soothe your married womans and your kids [ … ] ” ( 134 ) .

However. Okonkwo is still bound by ideas of his father’s failures. and he continues to remain emotionally detached from his household. Third. Okonkwo exhibits a strong moral intent and quality. . or in Aristotle’s words. “good or mulct. ” While his frailties sometimes dominate his virtuousnesss. and though his attitudes frequently skew his perceptual experience of life. finally Okonkwo merely wants what is best for his household and small town. For illustration. Okonkwo attempts to animate his boy Nwoye with masculine narratives of war and bloodshed. He desires for his boy to turn into a adult male that is commanding and comfortable. The qualities of a tragic character displayed in the fresh colour Okonkwo in all that he does.

In add-on to the tragic elements of character. constituents of the construct of secret plan are besides used in the novel. To get down. anagnorisis. a alteration from ignorance to knowledge. occurs as Okonkwo realizes his kin will non contend as he desires. ThisHis realisation occurstakes topographic point near the terminal of the novel:

Okonkwo stood looking at the dead adult male. He knew that Umuofia would non travel to war. He knew because they had let the other couriers escape. They had broken into uproar alternatively of action. He discerned fear in that uproar. He heard voices inquiring: “Why did he make it? ” He wiped his matchet on the sand and went off. ( 205 ) Okonkwo had persistently tried to promote his clanswomans to travel to war and drive the white work forces out by force. but he eventually comes to the decision that they will non listen. Next. peripetia. an consequence antonym to that which a character intended to bring forth. is besides displayed when Okonkwo murders the courier. He had desired to raise within his people bravery and inspiration to revolt against the white adult male. but he alternatively brought about fright and inquiring among the clanswomans. Finally. the anagnorisis and peripeteia complement one another in such a manner to make the calamity. or alteration of luck. This is seen when Okonkwo. who had been a venerated adult male with a strong intent in life. takes his ain life as he feels there is no longer any ground to go on populating. Traits of a tragic secret plan thrust the novel as they create sudden alterations in the action. giving spirit to the narrative.

Thingss Fall Apart is surprisingly Grecian as it includes characteristics of a tragic character and a tragic secret plan. The tragic defects in Okonkwo frequently command his life while they lead to his ruinous decease. Numerous character qualities from Aristotle’s Poetics are within Okonkwo. act uponing his attitude and relationship with others. Meanwhile. constituents of tragic secret plan are at work. bring forthing surprise and disclosure. particularly near the story’s terminal. These constituents discussed by Aristotle intertwine to organize Achebe’s intricate fresh Things Fall Apart. which has a well-established supporter and a compelling secret plan.