Honors English 2
20 March 2014
The Power of Fear
Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. The power of fear can lead to one’s destruction. In Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, he uses fear to demonstrate the evolution of the protagonist- Okonkwo. Achebe uses conflict, irony to demonstrate the influential aspect of fear in his well-known novel which is examined by Robert Bennett in a literary criticism.
Achebe uses internal conflict within his protagonist to demonstrate the power of fear. Okonkwo’s fear of becoming like his lackadaisical father is an internal conflict ...view middle of the document...
He achieves this by not giving up and for being a strong-willed character. This can be shown when he is farming or his creative bounce back from his exile. Just as everything he works hard for rises to the top, Okonkwo caves and becomes just as careless as his father. He ironically turns to the less masculine side he rejects in his father because he is so determined on being masculine. “That man was one of the greatest men..You drove him to kill himself...” (Achebe 208). Okonkwo preforms a murder on a teenager and the reaction he receives from his tribe leads to his tragic downfall: suicide. Achebe chose irony to show that one should not give up on achieving what they work for, just as Okonkwo did. His masculinity leads to his downfall. The situational irony in this novel is unexpected and creates the thrilling ending leaving readers with questioning thoughts.
In a literary criticism, Robert Bennett thoroughly examines the writing of Achebe while helping explain the novel Bennett received a PHD at the University of California, Santa Barbara and currently is an associate professor at...