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Is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe A Tragedy? Essay


The word “tragedy” refers mostly to a literary composition in which a main character called a terrible lead character or hero suffers some major misery which is not unintentional, however in that the bad luck is rationally gotten in touch with the hero’s actions. [1] When we read this definition of tragedy, it offers us a sensation that it is certainly Onkonkwo’s life summed up in a couple of lines, as in Things Break Down, he, being the protagonist has a complete reversal of fortune and in the end, all that he meant, all his strengths bring him to his downfall.

This perfect of a disaster is very appropriate in this novel. The title itself reinstates the fact that ‘things fall apart’ in this novel and therefore, disaster strikes.

For a work to be called a catastrophe, the characters in it need to possess certain characteristics [2] Hence, to validate that “Things Fall Apart’ is a tragedy; we may evaluate the character of the protagonist in this novel, who is Onkonkwo and get an overview of his qualities and characteristics.

To start with, the hero in the catastrophe should be doomed from start, however bear no responsibility for having his defect. In this novel, Onkonkwo considering that the beginning wished to be different from his effeminate, not successful and lazy daddy, Unoka.

As an outcome, he adopted his own suitables and worths and acquired will power, strength and decision. These qualities enabled him to become a great wrestler, strong warrior, wealthy farmer, and a highly respected member of his neighborhood. Nevertheless, as he accomplished more in life, his self self-confidence became his pride and his manliness became authoritativeness. Ultimately, his strengths became his weak points. However, at the same time, Onkonkwo was pushed into establishing all these characteristics in him, due to the fact that he had a fear of weak point due to having a father like Unoka.

Another trait of an awful hero is the truth the he need to be a leader, so that his people experience his fall with him. Onkonkwo was certainly a crucial leader in his village. However, as he became more effective, he became vain and impatient with unsuccessful guys. He freely flouted the many custom-mades and traditions of the Ibo due to his unruly and violent habits. He exhibited his anger unreasonably by beating up his spouses and kids, as he did in the week of peace which was thought about spiritual. Onkonkwo, however, committed his worst mistake when he took part in the killing of his adopted son, Ikemefuna. Regardless of being recommended versus it by the earliest member of the community, Onkonkwo disregarded him and he himself reduced his son, just since he was ‘scared of being thought weak’.

His supreme blow came, when due to an accident, he shot dead the 16 year old kid of Ogbuefi Ezeudu at his funeral service. Therefore, Onkonkwo lost all his eminence and was ostracized from the neighborhood, required to live in exile for 7 long years. Hence, due to his own awful defects there was a complete reversal in his fortune, which is another characteristic of a tragic hero. While in exile, Onkonkwo suffered greatly, as he remained in terrific misery due to his kid Nwoye, who also deserted him and rejected him by altering his faith.

When Onkonkwo returned from exile, he found a completely changed community. He had lost all his regard. He always wanted his individuals to be strong and brave, however rather he found that all of them had become weak in front of the Christians, incapable of saving their customs and culture. In the end, when a messenger from the District Commissioner’s workplace pertained to their village to hold a meeting, Onkonkwo impetuously eliminated him. His community nevertheless did not support him and his people backed away in worry. This ultimately led him to his own death as squashed by the misfortunes, he dedicated suicide. Thinking about the traits of the hero in a tragedy again, he should be physically or spiritually wounded by his experiences, as when it comes to Onkonkwo, which in fact led to his sad demise.

According to Aristotle, a tragedy needs to likewise have consistency, which this unique definitely does have, since Onkonkwo, the main character in this work, consistently remains true to himself. Onkonkwo throughout the book stands up for himself, his beliefs and his community. And although he has his own shares of defects, he likewise has some excellent qualities in him, which proves that he did not really deserve this fate. This arouses pity and empathy for him among the readers.

In conclusion, we can plainly say that Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ is a classical example of a tragedy. However, it is not only about the primary protagonist’s individual disaster but likewise about the terrible destruction of the Ibo, the tribe to which Onkonkwo belonged. This catastrophe is caused due to the fact that the people, themselves turn away from their own traditional gods and culture. Hence, the reasons for this disaster are inherent within the culture itself and the tragic component in this book has actually truly boosted it much more.

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