Things Fall Apart A Tragedy Essay

1236 words - 5 pages

Outline for essay over Things Fall Apart Thesis: Achebe defines Things Falls Apart as a tragedy through Okonkwo, who is a tragic hero, and by the pity and fear aroused in the reader.I. Introduction A. Author's last name and Book title B. Aristotle's definition of tragedy C. Function of a tragedy, according to Aristotle D. Thesis II. Okonkwo as tragic hero A. Okonkwo is high-ranking -- part of the egwugwus (87-94) B. Okonkwo is dignified - Wrestled and won "The Cat" (3) C. Courageous - went many times into battle and "earned his first head" (54) D. Downfall 1. By Tragic Flaw - inadaptability 2. By uncontrollable events 3. Wisdom gained - realized he must adapt, but cannot--so he hangs himself ...view middle of the document...

.. unsettling emotions" (Aristotle 796). This is done with "serious, important events, in which the main character comes to an unhappy end" (796). This character's downfall results from "a tragic flaw, a character weakness, or events beyond the character's control" (796). To conclude Aristotle's definition of a tragedy, it states that the tragic hero usually "gains some self-knowledge or wisdom in spite of defeat" (796). Achebe tells the reader that some of the women of the tribe noticed that the second egwugwu had the "springy" walk of Okonkwo (89), revealing his high rank in society. It goes on to say that he was not among the "titled" men (90), further proving his high rank, in that he was the second egwugwu. As a dignified character he "brought honor to the clan" by throwing 'Amalinze the Cat" (3). When Okonkwo was younger, he courageously went into battles and "stalked his victim", eventually killing him to obtain his "first human head" (54). Okonkwo's tragic flaw was his inability to adapt to the changes of his culture, stubbornly seeking to stick to the old ways he once new. When a messenger came to stop one of the tribe's meetings, Okonkwo rose up and killed him, because of his hate, his pride, and his inability to adapt, which proved to be his downfall (204). His downfall was also due to the uncontrollable events of the missionaries who came to Umofia. Lastly, Obierka states that the missionaries "drove him [Okonkwo] to kill himself" (208). This quote shows how he realized he could not adapt or survive in his culture. With that in mind, he felt he could not live any longer. The reader likely feels pity when Achebe tells the reader of this through the eyes and mouth of Obierka.Achebe aroused pity, one of things Aristotle says must be in a tragedy, in his readers through the events he placed in his book. In the very beginning chapter four, an "old man" who "bore no ill will" toward Okonkwo, and "respected" him for his good fortune was "struck" by the "brusqueness" Okonkwo had when dealing with "less successful men" (26). In the previous week, an unsuccessful man had "contradicted" him at a "kindred" meeting, held to discuss important matters (27). "Without looking" at whoever this man was, Okonkwo called out to him: "This...

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