So what have we ingrained in our memory for the past three years? The importance of themes, themes, themes. I initially came into Things Fall Apart with the expectation that it would only truly relate Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and I can safely say that I have been proven wrong. Once reaching the oh-so-tragic end, I was instantly taken back to 9th grade’s The Odyssey and Antigone, 10th grade’s Macbeth, and 11th grade’s… dare I say it?… Emma. Every single one of these works of literature had a tragic hero. The sad thing is, my recognition of Okonkwo as a tragic hero never occurred to me until now, but looking back, it makes sense.
1. He was incredibly proud and truly embodied hubris.
2. His flaw led to his downfall (the dreaded 7 year exile to his mother’s land).
3. I think it is safe to say we had some level of sympathy for him at moments in the novel.
4. And his last moment of existence was truly a moment of awakening and recognition.
The tragic heroes – they never do leave us.