The protagonist that Things autumn Apart, Okonkwo is additionally considered a catastrophic hero. A disastrous hero hold a position of power and also prestige, chooses his food of action, own a catastrophic flaw, and gains awareness of circumstances that cause his fall. Okonkwo"s tragic flaw is his are afraid of weakness and also failure.

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In his thirties, Okonkwo is a leader that the Igbo community of Umuofia. Achebe describes him together "tall and also huge" v "bushy eyebrows and also broad nose the a an extremely severe look." as soon as Okonkwo walks, his heels proper touch the ground, favor he to walk on springs, "as if that going to pounce top top somebody." Okonkwo "stammers slightly" and also his breathing is heavy.

Okonkwo is renowned as a wrestler, a fierce warrior, and also a effective farmer that yams (a "manly" crop). He has three wives and also many kids who live in huts top top his compound. Transparent his life, he incomes a never ever ending fight for status; his life is dominated by the fear of weakness and also failure. The is quick to anger, particularly when handling men who room weak, lazy debtors like his father. However, Okonkwo overcompensates because that his father"s womanly (weak) ways, the which the is ashamed, because he does not tolerate idleness or gentleness. Also though that feels inward affection in ~ times, he never portrays affection toward anyone. Instead, he isolates self by exhibiting anger through violent, stubborn, irrational behavior. Okonkwo demands that his family members work lengthy hours despite their age or minimal physical stamina, and also he nags and beats his wives and also son, Nwoye, who Okonkwo believes is womanly like his father, Unoka.

Okonkwo is impulsive; that acts before he thinks. Consequently, Okonkwo offends the Igbo people and also their traditions as well as the god of his clan. Okonkwo is advised no to get involved in the killing of Ikefemuna, but he actually kills Ikefemuna since he is "afraid the being assumed weak." once the white male brings Christianity to Umuofia, Okonkwo is protest to the new ways. That feels the the alters are destroying the Igbo culture, alters that require compromise and accommodation — two qualities that Okonkwo finds intolerable. Also proud and inflexible, he clings to traditional beliefs and also mourns the ns of the past.

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When Okonkwa rashly death a messenger from the British district office, his clansmen back away in fear; the realizes that none of them support him and also that the can"t conserve his village from the british colonists. Okonkwo is defeated. He commits suicide, a shameful and also disgraceful fatality like his father"s.