The Tragedy of Life
Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe describes to us a tragic story about a "strong man" whose life is run by his own anger and fear of himself. The definition of a tragedy is a drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances. Essentially, Okonkwo and his society compose this novel to be a tragedy.
Okonkwo's life shows how this story is a tragedy. He starts off believing that he will be a rich and famous man, but learns that this cannot be. Okonkwo's life begins to first fall apart when Ikemefuna was killed. Okonkwo had thought of Ikemefuna as one of his own sons, and was deeply saddened when he was killed. The killing of Ikemefuna, which Okonkwo took part in, had an after effect the faith from his family.
One can see the effects on Okonkwo from that event. First he was unable to sleep for the following three days, and then he kept on drinking, which was a sign that he was depressed. It says, "He called his son, Nwoye, to sit with him in his obi. But the boy was afraid of him and slipped out of the hut as soon as he noticed him dozing" (63).
Another occurrence when you can see Okonkwo's life as a tragedy was when he was thrown out of the tribe for seven years. He was exiled because his gun exploded and a piece of iron killed a boy. This is a crime to kill a clan's member, even if it was an accident. This also links the gun to the colonization soon to come of the clan. From this...