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Things Fall Apart Seminar

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by

Megan Walters

on 28 October 2013

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Transcript of Things Fall Apart Seminar

Shameful Deaths
Thesis
Foreshadowing
When examining the novel
Things Fall Apart,
written by Chinua Achebe, it is clear that the shameful death of the main character is inevitable through the analysis of foreshadowing, the influence of destiny and the appearance of the tragic hero cycle.
Destiny
Destiny
Tragic Hero Cycle
This Episode:
Okonkwo from
Things Fall Apart
Okonkwo beat wife during Peace Week going against earth goddess
"The evil you have done can ruin a whole clan. The earth goddess whom you have insulted may refuse to give us her increase, and we shall all perish"
(Pg. 30)
Used to indicate the inevitable death of the main character.
Story of the snake-lizard
" 'There is too much green vegetable' she said.
'Don't you see the pot is full of yams?' Ekwefi asked.
'And you know how leaves become smaller after cooking'
'Yes,' said Ezinma, 'that was why the snake-lizard killed his mother.'
'Very true,' said Ekwefi
'He gave his mother seven baskets of vegetables to cook and in the end there was only three. And so he killed her," said Ezinma
'That is not the end of the story'
'Oho' said Ezinma. 'I remember now. He brought another seven baskets and cooked them himself. And there were again only three. So he killed himself too."
"A man cannot rise beyond the destiny of his chi"
Okonkwo reflects on his own image thinking he
"was popularly called the roaring flame"
Okonkwo ignores the beliefs of the tribe and his chi when he killed Ikemefuna
"Something seemed to give way inside of him, like the snapping of tightening bow."
(pg. 61)
A great or virtuous character who is destined for downfall
Okonkwo is introduced as a man of great honor
"If ever a man deserved his success, that man was Okonkwo. At an early age he achieved fame as the great wrestler in all the land"
(27)
Tragic flaw is over-excessive pride & fear of weakness
"Perhaps, down in his heart, Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and weakness. It was not external, but lay deep within himself. It was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father."
(13)
Tragic flaw leads him to commit suicide
"That man was one of the greatest men in Ummofia. You drove him to kill himself, and now he will be buried like a dog!"
Agenda
Intro -
Forshaddowing -
Destiny -
Tragic Hero Cycle -
Conclusion -
Hillary Mackezie & Megan Walters
Juliana Czobit
Martin Ciesielski -Listwan
Nimna Fernando
Hillary Mackenzie & Megan Walters
(131)
Ignoring his chi can be seen as shameful and is a precursor to his shameful death
Beheads Kotma to reconcile himself
"Why did he do it?"
(205)
Puzzling Moment
What is foreshadowing?
What is another example of foreshadowing in the novel?
Answer
Question
What Ibo word would fill in this blank?


a) agbala
b) chi
c)obi
d) ogbanje
like the puzzle, these six pieces show his death was inevitable
Next Episode:

(153)
"When a man says yes, his _____ says yes also"
Relate the quote in the previous question to Okonkwo. How does his relationship with his chi relate to his destiny?
What other tragic hero has the same tragic flaw as Okonkwo?

a) Romeo
b) King Lear
c) John Proctor
d) Macbeth
What is Okonkwo's Tragic Flaw?
Puzzler Answer
Full transcript