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Okonkwo, The Hero Essay

1335 words - 5 pages

Over the years, there have been many ideas of what a hero is. We all know the stories of superheroes like Batman, The Flash, Ironman, and The Incredible Hulk. Being a hero is more than being the strongest person around. There are everyday heroes that exist in our world. A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy's shoulders to let him know that the world hadn't ended. A hero could be a young boy helping an elderly woman cross the road. There is no exception. There are heroes all over ther world. all different shapes, races, and sizes. Chinua Achebe tells us the tale of an unsung hero named Okonkwo who lives in an Ibo village in Nigeria. Achebe’s Things Fall Apart demonstrates how Okonkwo is a righteous hero by showing how he handles every event in the rise and fall of his life.
As far as heroes go, what do you think of them? Most people just think of the superheroes you see in the comics or in a movie or on TV. Nobody generally thinks of what an everyday hero is. One sense of the word hero is a leader. A leader is a hero. If you ever watch TV and see those military commercials they tell you how much of an impact being a leader has on the community and the world. It is true. I am a cadet in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) and our goal is to be better leaders. I understand how important a leader is wherever you go. You need someone to provide guidance and support when you need it. This is true not only in our society but all societies. Let’s look at Okonkwo’s Ibo village. In his village of Umuofia, there are a group of members who gather to deal with the concerns of the village. Okonkwo was one of those members. When there was a meeting, Okonkwo would attend. Okonkwo would sound of his opinion if he had one because he knew there was a better way to do things. The village elders trust him. When someone from the village of Mbaino murdered the wife of an Umuofia tribesman, Okonkwo travels to Mbaino to deliver the message that they must hand over to Umuofia a virgin and a young man. The young man that was delivered, Ikemefuna was put under the care of Okonkwo by the village elders. Okonkwo strives to be the be best and associates who he is with what he can do. “Okonkwo constructed his individual identity through factors such as physical abilities, economic status, knowledge, and ideological power”(Azodo). Okonkwo constantly shows how strong he really is. In Chapter 14 of Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is exiled for seven years to Mbanta for accidentally killing Ezendu’s son during Ezendu’s funeral when his gun went off. Mbanta is Okonkwo’s mother’s village. Okonkwo did not let his punishment shut him down, he carried on. “Okonkwo is a hero who disregards the norms of the society yet defends the vital values of the long-established social pattern.”(Cook). Okonkwo fought for who he is and his people. He didn't let what his village think get him down. Okonkwo...

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