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Things Fall Apart Seminar
Transcript of Things Fall Apart Seminar
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.
Tragic Hero Cycle
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"
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."
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"
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."
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!"
Tragic Hero Cycle -
Hillary Mackezie & Megan Walters
Martin Ciesielski -Listwan
Hillary Mackenzie & Megan Walters
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?"
What is foreshadowing?
What is another example of foreshadowing in the novel?
What Ibo word would fill in this blank?
like the puzzle, these six pieces show his death was inevitable
"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?
b) King Lear
c) John Proctor
What is Okonkwo's Tragic Flaw?