Overcoming his humble beginnings and the poverty of his youth shows Okonkwo's ability to succeed on his own. "As a young man of eighteen he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the CataE (Achebe, 3). He also survives the "tragic yearaE of bad whether and crop failure, "he did not sink under the load of despair...he was a fierce fighteraE (Achebe, 24). Okonkwo had overcome the year of terrible harvest and the death of his father, who left him without inheritance, with his youthfulness and strength. He is able to survive because of his strong work ethic and his confidence as an Igbo male. Understanding Okonkwo's beliefs helps the reader to later understand the tragedy that strikes Okonkwo after the coming of the white man.
Aristotle's tragic hero must have hubris, excessive pride, which leads the hero into experiencing a tragic flaw. Okonkwo's hubris is apparent when he beats Ojiugo, his youngest wife, and continues to do so, even after being reminded of the Week of Peace. The tragic flaw Okonkwo commits causes the Igbo tribe to "talk of nothing else but the nso-ani (a religious offence of a kind abhorred by everyone, literally earth's taboo) which Okonkwo had committedaE (Achebe, 31). Th