Okonkwo treats his father unoka very differently from his own son. “When unoka died he had taken no title at all and he was heavily in debt. Any wonder then that his son okonkwo was ashamed of him”. His father
Nwoye was my favorite character in this book because he expressed his feelings even when he was told by his father not to. This character made his own decisions and I can respect that, which is why I chose him for this essay.When Christian missionaries brought a new religion to the Ibo culture Nwoye changed his opinion about his cultures beliefs and religion. The book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a fiction work that represents the Ibo culture.
Okonkwo constantly struggled to create the same masculine character in Nwoye that he made for himself and constantly found a reflection of his effeminate father, Unoka, in Nwoye. Chapter two describes the relationship between Okonkwo and Nwoye in Nwoye’s youth. “Okonkwo’s first son, Nwoye, was then twelve years old but was already causing his father great anxiety for his incipient laziness... He sought to correct him by constant nagging and beating” (13-14). Okonkwo’s efforts to change Nwoye’s resemblance of Unoka were causing their relationship to be pushed apart because of Okonkwo’s violence and Nwoye’s resistance. Okonkwo’s aggressive ways caused Nwoye to rely on Ikemefuna, A boy given to Okonkwo by a neighboring village, as an older brother who teaches him a more gentle form of masculinity. The bond between Nwoye and Ikemefuna was stronger than the bond between Nwoye and Okonkwo ever was because of Okonkwo’s refusal to demonstrate affection towards his son as it could make him appear weak. However, because of the death of Ikemefuna, Nwoye fears having to return to the harsh values of his father. Okonkwo’s stubborn ideas of masculinity ruined his relationship with his son beyond repair. Okonkwo’s refusal to show emotion towards his family pushed them apart which shows that Okonkwo is not willing to give up his stern values and reputation to be emotionally committed to his family. Once again, Nwoye found peace away from his father when the Christian missionaries came to Mbanta, the motherland where Okonkwo and his family were exiled to. Nwoye converted to Christianity and escaped the force of his father in their household. Okonkwo, of course, didn’t support his son’s decision and was completely against Nwoye leaving behind the tradition the Okonkwo followed so deeply. A paragraph in chapter seventeen reflects on Okonkwo’s thoughts. “To abandon the gods of one’s father and go about
In the story “Things Fall Apart”, Okonkwo is a character who is recognized as a successful wrestler, and a strong leader in the village Umuofia. Okonkwo is exiled to his mother’s village called Mbanta for seven years for killing Ezeudu’s sixteen-year-old son. Okonkwo finds out that his son Nwoye has joined Christianity and takes exception to it. Okonkwo beats Nwoye because he joins Christianity because he still hasn’t forgiven Okonkwo for killing Ikemefuna. Okonkwo has a response to the collision of his culture. Okonkwo tries to fight the changes made by the Western people. Okonkwo’s response to the Western people trying to bring Western ideas into the Ibo culture are simply trying to fight back at the Western people with violence.
In 1967 the Nigerian government set out to kill all the Christians, this forced tons of Igbos that they could find. They killed and beat all of
Similarly, Nwoye also resists the reputation of his own father by rejecting this masculine regime of Okonkwo and Igbo culture, showing feminine virtues instead. His intention to carry his beliefs on to his children is established when Okonkwo thinks to himself after he learns of Nwoye’s conversion to Christianity. Nwoye made the decision to leave Umofia after the realization that his views do not coincide with those of his society any longer due to the life time of exposure to the toxicity of Okonkwo’s masculine behavior. It is because he refuses to conform that Nwoye wishes to alter the reputation of himself and his family by joining a culture that he finds to reflect the values that he believes in, instead of those he was dejectedly forced into following by his
When Okonkwo was “angry and could not get his words quickly out enough, he would use his fists” (Achebe 2). Okonkwo’s violent personality traits cause him to make very irrational decisions that would later have future consequences. Despite that, his less than perfect tendencies did help him to achieve many goals throughout his life. However, the instances where they worked against him outweigh all other factors. 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 participation in Ikemefuna’s murder ultimately pushed Nwoye to Christianity and this caused Okonkwo to lose respect in himself for not raising a better son.
Okonkwo’s response to this evidence is sorrow because over the time that the white men have came and affected their culture. From the novel
Everyone as a human being has experienced some form of change in our life, big or small, and it has a lasting effect on who they are and how they act. In Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’, change is a forward facing theme of the whole story, we see change in all forms occur throughout the book; the arrival of the white men and their changing of the igbo culture, the tearing apart of Okonkwo’s family by religion and traditions, and the change that occurs within Okonkwo himself when he realizes he cannot prevent change from happening in the community and culture he loved. Change is destructive in ‘Things Fall Apart’, especially to such a magnitude as we see in the story, it is destructive to communities, to families, and especially to individuals.
7.What are the main features of Igbo identity that Okonkwo retained during the British occupation of Nigeria?
The novel "Thing's fall apart" by Chinua Achebe is a complex work that masterfully establishes and develops characters through their experience with cultural collision. The way that Achebe accomplishes carefully weaving his implicit claim throughout the work is such a beautiful subtlety that it deserves to be analyzed. The Igbo's pride is constantly challenged by the colonizers as they gain increasingly more power in Africa. The idea of pride is constantly developed throughout the thoughts and actions of the novels protagonist Okonkwo. His response to the colonizers is influenced by his own views on pride and is used by Achebe to illustrate his own opinion on pride. Pride is something that must be second when it comes to potential change and
Nwoye, Okonkwo’s son, also becomes the first converts to Christianity (Achebe 107). He does it to show his protest for Igbo decision to sacrifice Ikemefuna, Okonkwo’s adopted son’. Nyowe decides to join church and choose to attend school. After knowing about it, Okonkwo gets furious and disowns Nwoye. The decision to abandon his son becomes another example of Igbo’s inability to deal with change. By changing his religion, Nwoye disregard his father in the worst way. But Okonkwo cannot fight against his son because he is uninformed about the Christian culture. It seems that committing suicide is Okonkwo’s way of going against Christianity. But unfortunately this act not only takes his life but it also takes away the respect of Umuofia for
Fathers like all compulsory aspects in life have an influence, Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart demonstrates the importance of a father and his role through leading characters. The leading character Okonkwo was affected by his father's non fulfilment in his tribe Umuofia, the absences and failure of his father Unoka caused a great hollowness in his life. Okonkwo and Unoka are portrayed as having an evidently strained relationship, one in fact that lead Okonkwo to consciously adopt opposite ideals from his father. The psychology behind this strained father son relationship fully answers the questions and unfolds the truth of Okonkwo's
A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride. It is more difficult and more bitter when a man fails alone” (pg.24-25). The most prideful thing Okonkwo had done throughout the whole book was killing himself. We never really find out why he did it, but really it could have been because he was too stubborn to abide by the white man’s law. He knew it would most likely never change, so his solution was to kill himself. He wasn’t thinking about his family or his clan, just about himself. Philippians 2;3 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than