Nwoye avoided to be alone with his father out of fear, while Okonkwo grieved over his deed. “Okonkwo did not answer. But he left hold of Nwoye, who walked away and never returned.” (Achebe, 152). Since the new religion came Nwoye was fascinated by what the missionaries believed in causing Nwoye to renounce his previous culture, and leave his family behind. The religion greatly angered Okonkwo because it made his oldest son to betray his beliefs and morals since birth.
Nwoye’s Response To Cultural Change A sense of identity is often acquired and developed by everyone as they mature, but it is always changing as the culture changes. The novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, follows the development of several characters in response to a cultural shock caused by the Westernization of the Ibo tribe in Nigeria. The protagonist of the book, Okonkwo, is a strong leader and warrior of the tribe who was obsessed with his masculine image. However, Okonkwo’s eldest son, Nwoye, tries to shadow and please his father, but ultimately fails for he has a soft side. Especially when it comes to religion, Nwoye’s believes, morals, and interests often diverse from his fathers.
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.
Nwoye and Okonkwo had a rocky relationship from the beginning but it only solidified once Ikemefuna was killed. Christianity being introduced to Umuofia showed Nwoye that he had a purpose in life and he didn’t have to be just like his father. Nwoye and Okonkwo had a bad relationship because they could never accept the fact that they had more differences than similarities,this caused them to separate from each other permanently. Stephen Covey said “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” If Nwoye and Okonkwo would have been able to set their differences aside and tried to accept each other then maybe Nwoye wouldn’t have converted to
Out of affection Okonkwo extends his notion of family to included Ikemefuna even though the boy isn’t related to him by blood or clan membership. Okonkwo is hoping the ways Ikemefuna will rub off on his son Nwoye. Okonkwo has been trying to figure out Nwoye but Nwoye wants to do his own thing. “Ikemefuna had begun to feel like a member of Okonkwo family. He still thought about his mother and his three year old sister and he had moments of sadness and depression.
“He is not my father,” Nwoye himself was a very sensitive boy and he felt some type of way when he found out that his father did not wish to speak about him. Okonkwo was pretty upset that once again his son was showing the same character traits as his father, Nwoye was very sensitive and weak just like Okonkwo’s father and that bothered Okonkwo because he feared to become like his father or for his son to resemble
Life takes unexpected turns and with those unexpected turns, we find out more about ourselves and eventually become an individual with our own ways of thinking. Nwoye is one of Okonkwo’s children who Okonkwo considers a pessimistic feminine and very much like his father, Unoka. As a child, Nwoye is the regularly victim of his father’s criticism and seems to be always emotionally displeased. Achebe depicts Nwoye as a gentle child who prefers to listen to the stories that the women of the Ibo culture tell, then the bloody war stories that Okonkwo and the men of the village tells. Nwoye has different beliefs than that of his father and fellow villagers.
Okonkwo was a damaged man who for fear of being seen to resemble any aspect of his father lived in anger; something Unoka seldom showed. This damage carried through into his emotional ties like his wives and children and frequently beat his family to show masculinity. “Okonkwo knew she was not speaking the truth… And when she returned he beat her heavily. In his anger he had forgotten that it was the Week of Peace… But Okonkwo was not the man to stop beating somebody half-way through, not even for fear of a goddess.” (Achebe 29-30). Even besides the frequent beatings because although wrong, were normalized in Umuofia, Okonkwo had irreparable anger issues that caused him to lash out at anyone who crossed him in an
This is prominent throughout the whole novel the intricate details put into things like weddings, parties, and even the justice system. When the british come in and start to make change to the Igbo tribe, Okonkwo can not handle the changes. Okonkwo is very traditional, he rarely breaks the rules and traditions he has followed his whole life; Therefore when british society become the “social norm” Okonkwo acts out as a form of rebellion to try and gain back the tribe’s old ways. The complexity of the Igbo tribe could actually be seen as the complexity of Okonkwo’s life. Okonkwo’s structure of life is fragile, just as the culture of the Igbo tribe is.