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Okonkwo; a hero or a villain

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Bhavan Mehta

on 30 January 2014

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Transcript of Okonkwo; a hero or a villain

Okonkwo; a hero or a villain?
Things Fall Apart
By Chinua Achebe
By:Bhavan Mehta
IB English HL
Period: 3/4/5 mon
A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.
a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot.
Opposite of a hero.
Okonkwo as a hero
Ever since a young age Okonkwo showed courage and no sign of indolence.
"As a young man of eighteen he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat." (Achebe 1)
Okonkwo as a hero
Okonkwo never quits while he is alive. he is a fierce fighter.
"It always surprised him when he thought of it later that he did not sink under the load of despair."(Achebe 24)
Okonkwo as a hero

"He was a man of action, a man of war...On great occasions such as the funeral of a village celebrity he drank his palm-wine from his first human head" (Achebe 10).
Okonkwo was loyal to his family and his village. He went to war for his people. He is devoted to the Ibo culture.
Okonkwo as a villain
Okonkwo murders Ikemefuna by deceiving him.
He beats his children & wives.
Okonkwo is very stubborn and kills a christian Messenger.
“He had a slight stammer and whenever he was angry and could not get his words out quick enough, he would use his fists” (Achebe 4).
Tragic hero
A privileged, exalted character of high repute, who, by virtue of a tragic flaw and fate, suffers a fall from glory into suffering.
“He heard Ikemefuma cry, ‘My father, they have killed me!’ as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (Achebe 61).
Work Cited
Achebe, Chinua.
Things Fall Apart
. New York: Anchor Books, 1994.
"Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness" ( Achebe 13).


In many ways Achebe describes Okonkwo as a hero; however there are some qualities in which a reader can claim he is a villain.
Okonkwo as a Villain
Okonkwo has no tolerance for people beneath him.
"Without looking at the man Okonkwo had said. “This meeting is for men.” The man who had contradicted him had no titles. That was why he had called him a woman. Okonkwo knew how to kill a man’s spirit" (Achebe 26).
The Tragic Flaw
Okonwo's manliness and unforgiveness leads him to his downfall. His 'chi' leads him to his destruction.
"And no Okonkwo was ruled by one passion- to hate everything that his father Unoka had loved. One of those things was gentleness and the other was idleness" (Achebe 11).
"That man was one of the greatest men in Umuofia. You drove him to kill himself, and now he will be buried like dog..." (Achebe 208).
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