Tragic Conventions in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Tragedy, based on Aristotle’s characterization, may be defined as a dramatic narrative in which serious and important actions turn out disastrously for the protagonist or tragic hero. The classical Western tragic hero is the main character of great importance usually of high social or cultural standing that possesses a tragic flaw that leads to a dramatic reversal and realization, which will later pilot to his (for tragic heroes are classically male) downfall.

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They bring Christianity and win over Igbo outcasts as their first converts. As the Christian religion gains legitimacy, more and more Igbo people are converted. Just when Okonkwo has finished his seven-year sentence and is allowed to return home, his son Nwoye converts to Christianity.

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Things Fall Apart shows a foreign approach to classical Western tragedy. The novel included tragic conventions and an appealing standpoint of a tragic hero. While interestingly unconventional, Things Fall Apart can be classified as a tragedy, and Okonkwo as a tragic hero.

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