What causes the downfall of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart?

Anger, violence, pride, an inability to adapt, and a fear of being like his father all take part in the downfall of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart.

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The story of Things Fall Apart comes closer to Aristotle's definition of tragedy than most of the extant Greek tragedies do. In many ways, Okonkwo resembles Oedipus, a great man, respected by those around him, who falls from his high position principally through the operation of fate. It is true that Okonkwo, like Oedipus, has a flawed character, but also like Oedipus, it is difficult to see how he could have avoided his downfall. The society in which he lives disintegrates around him, and there is nothing he can do to stop it.

Okankwo is a harsh, stubborn man with a foul temper. However, these faults do not directly contribute to his downfall. It is possible that, if he had not been exiled to Mbanta, he could have defended Umuofia from the encroachment of the white men by fighting and persuading his tribe to fight. It is doubtful whether this would have made any difference, but even if one assumes that it would, the direct cause of Okonkwo's exile is not his own violence but the accident of...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1034 words.)

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