Analyzing Character Traits

Analyzing Character Traits



Complete a Quick Write:

  • Think about someone currently living (this person could be famous, or only known within his or her community) who is very respected by society. What makes this person respected—does this person have any less-positive qualities?

Open Notebook

Share your response with your classmates. What do you notice about their examples?

Tragic Hero

Work Time

What happens when a hero is imperfect? Such a hero is often referred to as a tragic hero. A tragic hero is usually a person of high standing and great ability, who has one or more character flaws (such as greed, arrogance, lust for power, etc.) that directly lead to his or her downfall. Commonly, the protagonist (main sympathetic character) of a tragedy is a tragic hero.

As your teacher explains the concept of a tragic hero, think about whether any of the people you discussed in the Opening meet this definition.

  • Brainstorm examples of tragic heroes with your classmates.

Things Fall Apart, Chapters 3 and 4

Work Time

With your group, review Chapters 3 and 4 of Things Fall Apart , looking for details about Okonkwo. Does he have the potential to be a tragic hero? Look for quotations that reveal his heroic side, as well as his flaws. You may want to follow the following steps in your group.

  • Review and summarize the chapters you read for homework. Make sure everyone understands the basic events.
  • Clarify any parts of the reading that were confusing and answer any questions that anyone had.
  • Create a Dialetical Journal #2 in your notebook.
  • Split up the reading and look for quotations that reveal key details or characteristics of Okonkwo. Each member of the group is responsible for a Dialectical Journal entry with at least three quotations.
  • Discuss your findings together, sharing what you found, and come up with an overall summary of your understanding of Okonkwo’s character to this point.
  • What would (or does) your character think of Okonkwo? Look at the quotations that your group found for clues. Together, select one to three quotations that you think best reveal a side to Okonkwo that your character might care about. This will help you with your Closing writing.

Share your insights with the class.

Character Journal Entry


Based on the work you did with your character group, share a character journal entry with your community group.

  • What does your character think of Okonkwo?

Open Notebook

Write at least one solid paragraph using evidence from the book. Remember, you should be writing in the first person from your character’s point of view.

Personal Journal - Entry #6 and Things Fall Apart


Complete another personal journal entry.

  • Choose a person (perhaps the same person as from the Opening Quick Write) who is respected based on what society approves of. Do you respect this person? Explain why or why not.

Open Notebook

Return to your community group’s entries and read through those from this lesson. Continue the conversation, commenting on at least one other entry or reply.

Read Chapters 5 and 6 of Things Fall Apart. Continue to add to your Personal Glossary as you read.