throughout the novel, Okonkwo is portrayed as masculine and dominant. Moreover, Okonkwo is not artificial disregarding his tough persona. Externally, Okonkwo is dominant and frightening to his village, but internally Okonkwo is fearful of being weak and feminine. Okonkwo is afraid “of failure and of weakness,” because Okonkwo’s father was full of failure and weakness (Achebe 13). This proves Okonkwo is not artificial because Okonkwo has fears similar to any other person. Another reason why Okonkwo is a tragic hero is Okonkwo is appropriate, because of his dominant personality. Okonkwo chooses to never display signs of weakness and has a strong
2 determination of being successful. Okonkwo’s family especially fears Okonkwo because “Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand,” which is a term for handling people in a strict way (Achebe 13). This proves Okonkwo is appropriate because in Okonkwo’s society men are expected to be dominate. On the other hand some people might argue that Okonkwo is a villain because he killed his adopted son, and beats his wives; however this view is not entirely correct because Okonkwo has a passion for being the total opposite of his father. Okonkwo’s father was a lazy, poor, and unsuccessful and Okonkwo is afraid of being similar to his father, so Okonkwo hates “everything his father...had loved…” which was “gentleness and...idleness,” (Achebe 13). This proves Okonkwo is a tragic hero because according to Aristotle, a tragic hero falls due to a fatal flaw, and Okonkwo's hamartia is having a fear of being feminine and weak. In short, Okonkwo not only is a tragic hero because of his humanity, lifelike personality, and appropriateness, but is also a tragic hero because Okonkwo fell due to his hamartia of having fear of being feminine and weak.