• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Things Fall Apart

Extracts from this document...


How Things Fall Apart 1,694 Words A tragic hero is considered to be a character, often the protagonist, who is a noble person with a tragic flaw, known as a fatal flaw that eventually leads to his or her demise. The two novels Things Fall Apart and The Village in the Jungle demonstrate corresponding grim finales, where both authors Chinua Achebe and Leonard Woolf do not hesitate in illustrating tragedy to its utmost capacity. In and around Umuofia, the protagonist Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart receives the title of a "roaring flame" owing to his fierce temper, his mighty build, and his bold masculinity. Whilst Okonkwo's appearance portrays a man that is undeniably feared, it belies everything that Okonkwo himself confines within, up till the point where he virtually defeats himself. On the other hand, in The Village in the Jungle we have Silindu who is recognized as "tikak pisu" (slightly mad) and has the reputation of being the laziest man in Beddagama. Silindu to some extent bends the rules of the classification of a tragic hero, however even he is at the core of misfortune that is attributable to himself. As a whole, multiple observations sanction it reasonable to say that these two narratives are tragedies, but more specifically that they are tragedies due to their respective flawed protagonists. ...read more.


However, regardless of all these tribulations and ordeals, Okonkwo was able to surmount them by his intense pride and the dignity that he had for Umuofia and its traditional tribal existence. This is what literally keeps Okwonko afloat throughout his life, at least until he finally realises that his cherished way of village life and custom is effectively gone beyond the possibility of restoration. At this point Okonkwo looses it, and his prominent flaw is unleashed: his uncontrollable anger. He eyes the District Commissioner and as he "trembles with hate, unable to utter a word" his temperamental state causes him to neglect all rationality. "And in a flash he drew his machete. The messenger crouched to avoid the blow. It was useless. Okonkwo's machete descended twice and the man's head lay beside his uniformed body." (179-180) After killing the messenger however, Okonkwo immediately knows that he would be alone in his fight. He knows that Umuofia would not go to war. He knows because they had let all of the other messengers escape. Under no circumstance however would he be a coward, thus he ironically takes his own life which in effect is the most cowardly action possible among his clan. His suicide underlines his loss of all hope and faith because for a man and warrior who knew the traditions better than anyone, it is horrifyingly shocking that he truly goes through with it. ...read more.


Okonkwo wants to "wash his hands" of the poor reputation of his father, be a respected clan leader and finally to maintain the ancient way of village life in Umuofia. Conversely Silindu simply desires to be left in peace so that he can live his life with his daughters. The ill-fated fact of the matter is however, that both of these central characters slip further and further away from achieving their aims, caused directly and occasionally also indirectly by their own faults. After Okonkwo's collapse, it would be interesting to see how he would be remembered by his clan and how the way he died would affect his remaining family. To Okonkwo his own father was a letdown and an impediment to success, ironically however, it is possible that his family would be similarly ashamed of him, his actions and his suicide. Likewise, in The Village in the Jungle we must witness the brutal ending of Punchi Menika's life, the only remaining inhabitant of Beddagama. Silindu has miserably failed; he despondently sits in a prison cell locked away from his essential environment and struggling desolate daughter. In both Things Fall Apart and The Village in the Jungle, it is evident that the faulty perceptions and actions of the two protagonists do in fact result in stimulating barriers to form between them and their life aspirations. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Gatsby as Tragic Hero

    on page.139 and when Daisy consents to Gatsby's proposal of leaving Tom, on page.140, Tom yells, "She's not leaving me! Certainly not for a common swindler who'd have to steal the ring he put on her finger." Thereafter, Daisy retracts her words just wishing for everything to go back as

  2. A Comparison: Gatsby and Okonkwo

    In a sense both men are the archetype of the self made man. In the case of Gatsby, he is trying to achieve wealth, a sense of mysterious fame, and his false vision of Daisy. Okonkwo spends his life trying to increase the respect and reverence he receives by earning titles, to distance himself from his father.

  1. Under age Binge Drinking In Wales

    Appropriate 'little and often' drinking has been associated with improved health. Binge drinking in young people does not have the same benefits. It is unrealistic to think that most teenagers won't experiment with alcohol. Drinking alcohol in moderation can be fun.

  2. Things Fall Apart Novel Analysis

    Chinua Achebe has become one of the most influential writers in Africa. His novels have become accepted in Western Culture without his writing being influenced with the trends of western culture. Achebe will be one of the classic African writers forever.

  1. Many people will often describe education as the ultimate key to success. But ...

    True, that it may not cater to the specific job requirements that some businesses are looking for, but it is impossible for a school to provide curriculums that is specific to each student. That's why schools often provide workshops that are dedicated to various job industries for students to hone in on certain skills.

  2. History research - Early Australian bushrangers. English writing -my region and favourite authors.

    Today, Indigenous communities keep their cultural heritage alive by passing their knowledge, arts, rituals and performances from one generation to another, speaking and teaching languages, and protecting cultural property and sacred and significant sites and objects. Intangible heritage Intangible heritage is sometimes called living cultural heritage, and is seen in

  1. Things Fall Apart - The fear of failure

    When he learned of Nwoye joining the church, he nearly strangles the boy and kills the boy almost. Okwonko's fear of failure is probably his greatest trait shown in the book. His entire life was based on one fact, to be the opposite of his father, a man with who isn't a failure.

  2. Underaged Drinking Problems

    Again, this is due to the lack of common sense, as alcohol alters the function of brain, and reduces the ability to comprehend consequences of their action. Therefore, becoming drunk can easily lead to poor judgment, which leads to severely harming and violent acts.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work