Okonkwo is seen as a very painfully structured man and when something doesn't go according to his structure, it causes him to make irrational decisions. As seen in Okonkwo’s participation in Ikemefuna’s death, we see a demonstration of his rash thinking. Okonkwo’s irrational decision - making, as well as his fear of being perceived as weak like his father drove him to kill Ikemefuna. If Ikemefuna has not been killed, then this would have prevented Nwoye from converting to Christianity. As seen “after the missionaries finished singing, Nwoye pondered about what he just heard, the hymn about brothers who sat in darkness and fear seemed to answer a vague and persistent question that haunted his young soul the question of Ikemefuna who died” (Achebe 128).
Okonkwo’s worst fear was to be the kind of man his father was, so he tried his best not to let his fear become a reality. With a father like Unoka, Okonkwo didn’t get the start as most young men in the village; however, he worked his way to the position of leadership of the clan. There was only one emotion that Okonkwo showed, and it was anger. This was his only emotion because it was how he expressed his feelings. Okonkwo had to leave his fatherland, but after returning home, he found his home unrecognizable.
This upset Okonkwo who lashed out causing Nwoye to leave and never come back. In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Nwoye was able to stand up to his father as a result of two religions colliding. Although they were father and son, Okonkwo and Nwoye were never very close because of how different they were. “Nwoye knew that it was right to be masculine and to be violent, but somehow he still preferred the stories that his mother used to tell…” (Achebe 53). This shows that even though Nwoye didn’t share the same
Okonkwo is supposed to fight back for his village and not stop until he gets it done. In the story Achebe quotes, “He was a man of action, a man of war. Unlike his father he could stand the look of blood.” (Chapter 2). Okonkwo loved action and violence. That is how he believes things should get done.
Now that the readers have a better connection with Okonkwo's family and know that Nwoye was thought to be like Okonkwo's father, Achebe brings forth the feeling of betrayal. “What moved Obierika to visit Okonkwo was the sudden appearance of the latter's son, Nwoye, among the missionaries in Umuofia” (143) With his quote it is known that Okonkwo will feel betrayal, and since the audience is connected to him they know that he will feel betrayed. Achebe once again uses pathos to portray the feeling of betrayal.”How then could he have begotten a son like Nwoye, degenerate and effeminate?” (153) It can see from this that Okonkwo believes that Nwoye has disgraced the family name, and Okonkwo regrets having him as a
Okonkwo, however, didn’t approve of Nwoye’s religion change. Everything Nwoye thought was morally right contradicted his fathers believes, so Okonkwo completely disowned his son and cut all ties after attempting to kill him. As a result, Nwoye moved in with the Christians and was able to escape his father 's abuse and controlling attitude. He was also able to escape from a faith that didn’t support his morals. Conclusion: How did the character develop Although much of the Ibo population reacted negatively to the forced Westernization of Nigeria, a number of people, such as Nwoye, accepted and benefited from the new religion.
Okonkwo saw himself as a child in Ike, he was strong and hardworking. With Ike’s presence around Nwoye started to act more and more like a man each day and this made Okonkwo proud. For once in his life Okonkwo saw his son acting like a man, doing what he was supposed to do as a young man. It was all thanks to Ike acting almost like a big brother, showing Nwoye what to do and how to act. Until one day the tribe came to Okonkwo to inform him that they were going to kill Ike for his fathers actions.
But much to the anguish of Okonkwo, Nwoye embodied most of his grandfather’s traits and this enraged Okonkwo deeply. Okonkwo dreads that Nwoye will blot the acclaim and honour he has worked so hard to achieve. Nwoye’s “incipient laziness” was causing Okonkwo great deal of distress and he sought to correct him by “constant nagging and beating” and as a result Nwoye was “turning into a sad-faced youth” (Pg. 13). Nwoye is aware that he should adopt the more masculine traits of his tribesmen, as desired by his father but he still prefers his mother’s company.
The absence of the famed warrior allowed for foreign missionaries from another land to invade, take hold, and reform the lifestyle. Eventually, Okonkwo returned, but to a completely different society changed by the missionaries. Okonkwo developed throughout the novel because of his conflicts with society, which were primarily caused by his ideals of masculinity, his inability for adaption, and his relationships with others. Masculinity controlled Okonkwo’s life, influencing all his decisions and ideas, causing conflict in society. Fear was rooted at the basis of his masculine ideals, as his father, Unoka, the main source of his terror, was a failure in life, taking no title and often being described as a woman.
Before the Ibo tribe experiences a cultural collision, Nwoye’s personal identity is incoherent since it is masked by Okonkwo’s expectations. Since he is the eldest son of Okonkwo, Nwoye is expected by his father to become a strong man with profound masculine traits. However, Nwoye struggles to please his father. As stated in Things Fall Apart, “Okonkwo’s first son, Nwoye, was then twelve years old, but was already causing his father great anxiety for his incipient laziness” (Achebe 13). The sensitive and sympathetic side of Nwoye contradicts Okonkwo’s hopes for his son, and makes Nwoye seem more indolent than he actually was.