Okonkwo Identity

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Things Fall Apart is packed with cultural beliefs, familial relationships, and independent beliefs. These things give us an identity, or a feeling of belonging in our societies, so what happens when a lifestyle gets challenged by another? Well, things fall apart. Though Okonkwo is the main character in this story, Nwoye struggles more with the clashing of cultures, family issues, and religious beliefs. Okonkwo had an unhealthy relationship with his father, which is very negative object in Igbo culture where the father-son bond is a key part of life. Okonkwo, yearning to do for his son what his father never did for him, makes Nwoye feel the pressure of a false identity being pushed upon him. Sensitive, compassionate, and an overall peaceful…show more content…
Okonkwo was also going through struggles of self-identity, and because of it he regrettably took part in killing Ikemefuna. This action broke Nwoye permanently, only strengthening the distance between him and his father. He saw the late Ikemefuna as a brother and a person he could look up to, he felt a feeling he had felt only one time before when he heard twin babies wailing in the Evil Forest. He never appreciated the violence that was embedded in the culture of his clan, but instead loved the stories meant for women. As a young child, Okonkwo would tell his sons stories of violence, and to stop the beatings he would receive for sharing his thoughts on them, Nwoye pretended to enjoy them. “And so he feigned that he no longer cared for women’s stories. And when he did this he saw that his father was pleased, and no longer rebuked him or beat him” (Chapter 7, P 4). The wrath of his father and gender roles in the society he was growing up in pushed him to be someone he was
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