Nwoye Identity Essay

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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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