Eckhart Tolle once said, “My sense of identity broke down and was replaced by something that is very hard to put not words.” Nwoye’s sense of identity was challenged with the introduction of Western ideas into the Ibo culture. Nwoye started out in the novel as different and as an outcast in his culture, but the cultural collision of the British colonists and Ibo people affected nwoye to the point of converting religions. The reasons for Nwoye’s change in his sense of identity include him being an outcast in his culture, his lack of confidence, and the new religions ‘saving’ and acceptance of Nwoye. The first reason Nwoye’s sense of identity was challenged was because of him being an outcast in his culture. “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, and which she no doubt still told to her younger children.” (38) As we see in the story at one point Nwoye was just beginning to act how his father wanted him to act but, somewhere deep down he did not like it and wished he was …show more content…
One of the first things we really notice about Nwoye’s character is his lack in confidence. Okonkwo thought that in order to teach Nwoye to do things the right way he would threaten him with a beating instead of helping him. For example in one part in the book Okonkwo is having Nwoye and Ikemefuna cut yams, when Nwoye does not cut them right Okonkwo threatens him saying that “if you split another yam of this size, i shall break your jaw.” (23) How Okonkwo treats Nwoye leaves him lacking in his confidence which leads to more threatening and more beatings. When Nwoye finally converts to Christianity he finds a culture that does not beat their children or wives when they do wrong but yet they encourage them to try again and politely tell them what they have done
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Manhood is being treated as a human of mankind. Okonkwo, however, equates manhood to brute force and anger. Anything else was considered to be characteristic of a woman. It is this idea of manliness that pushes Nwoye into the hands of the missionaries. Okonkwo “wanted Nwoye to grow into a tough young man” and although Nwoye at times acted as if he was annoyed with the tasks the women would ask of him, “nothing pleased Nwoye now more than to be sent for by his mother or another of his father's wives” (Achebe, 36).
The new culture ultimately saved him and this shows the positive effects colonialism can have on someone. Nwoye struggled with knowing who he was as a person. Nwoye felt like he didn’t belong to his family/clan.” If any one of you prefers to be a woman, let him follow Nwoye now while I am alive so that I can curse him.
After Ikemefuna's entrance into Nwoye's life, their brotherly relationship is the reason behind Nwoye's interest in new and mature practices, which changes his behavior and relationship with his father. At the beginning of the novel, Okonkwo is convinced that Nwoye demonstrated traits of laziness and weakness. He thought that by constantly beating his son, he would give up his indolent habits. The beatings and the hostile relationship between Nwoye and his father negatively influenced his character. In the novel, Nwoye is described as "developing into a sad-faced youth (Achebe, 14).
This angers Okonkwo so much that he physically starts hurting Nwoye which is historically tolerated in the Igbo culture. He has grown up with Okonkwo being violent towards him and his family. The reader can allude that Nwoye is drawn to Christianity’s condemnation of violence. Therefore when he hears that Christianity is a lot less violent and is displayed more calmer in the readings that are given around the village, Nwoye is immediately sold on the idea of
Okonkwo not giving Nwoye the love that he needed, led to the relationship between the two down the road. Okonkwo was pleased with the progress in Nwoye’s development, however, he still didn’t give the love that Nwoye deserved. All Okonkwo was worried about was Nwoye being able to grow into a tough man and rule his father’s household. This would lead the reader to feel that Okonkwo isn’t supporting (which he barely does) Nwoye for the right reasons. Okonkwo was comparing Nwoye to other children that had already grown up and become strong young men.
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.
The reasons for Nwoye’s change in their sense of identity included his relationship with his father and his acceptance of the Missionaries. Ultimately, their response to the introduction of Western ideas shaped the meaning of the work as a whole by showing the positive effects the new culture can have on someone. The first reason Nwoye’s sense of identity was challenged with the introduction of the Western ideas was because of his relationship with his father. In the beginning of Things Fall Apart, it tells us
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.
Although the cultural collision challenges both Okonkwo’s and Nwoye’s identity, Nwoye’s outcome is an example of being successful in cultural collision is being flexible and able to adjust to the opponent’s culture while Okonkwo’s outcome, suicide, shows resiting to a different culture can bring a catastrophe. Achebe’s two main character’s responses enhance the overall message of the novel by displaying how these main characters changed when two cultures collide one another. It is crucial to be open-minded and adjustable in cultural collision in order to be
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
That is, until a boy named Ikemefuna comes into custody of the family. Ikemefuna became a role model for him, and he started embracing his masculine side as he was influenced by his adopted brother. Eventually, Ikemefuna is killed, by none other than Okonkwo himself. This shoots Nwoye into a void of doubt, deeper than he already
His fear of weakness and failure is derived from his father, Unoka’s failures, which ignite Okonkwo’s misogynistic views. Throughout his lifetime, Okonkwo associates femininity with weakness because of Unoka, who was called an “agbala” or woman by the people of Umuofia. Since women have this reputation for weakness, Okonkwo lives with constant fear that he will be given the same title as his father. Okonkwo’s first son, Nwoye’s effeminacy reminds Okonkwo of his own father. He says, "I have done my best to make Nwoye grow into a man, but there is much of his mother in him ."(Achebe, 66).
In Chinua Achebe novel, Things Fall Apart Nwoye a young man under Okonkwo’s responsibility is affected positively by the introduction of western ideas into the Ibo culture. This being said Nwoye has found a passion for being apart of a religion not known by any local in Igbo called Christianity, to some it was a blessing and to others a disgrace. To Okonkwo he feels that anybody who converts to Christianity is a disgrace to their village. And how surprising is it that his own son converts to a Christian. And in his conversion he tries to escape his strict culture and find out who he is as a person.
Self-identity is defined as the recognition of one's potential and qualities as an individual, especially in relation to social context. In other words, self-understanding. Finding self-identity is more more difficult for some people than others. In the autobiography Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self by Rebecca Walker, the author reflects on her identity as a mixed raced individual which is illustrated through Walker’s reflections. People define themselves in many different ways.