In Things Fall Apart Okonkwo’s eldest son Nwoye is very different than his father. He is not aggressive and manly but more effeminate. Okonkwo feels like Nwoye is a disappointment because he doesn’t follow his values while Nwoye loses all respect for his father because he doesn’t want to live in his shadow. Later on, Christian missionaries come to their village and Nwoye is taught that there is a better way to live and is amazed by it. The missionaries speak about a story of “...brothers who lived in darkness and in fear, ignorant love of God” (Achebe), which really touched Nwoye and made him find peace in leaving his father’s teachings and convert to
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
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.
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
Through Okonkwo’s journey the reader could notice that his thoughts changed which lead him to committing suicide and sinning according to his people. Also, we notice how people can change their religion by wanting to feel like other or be treated like others. Throughout the novel, the reader examined that change could be good however it could also be bad. It on the point of view or perspective that you are
As Obierika explains, “The white man is very clever... he has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart” (176). Achebe’s in-depth story exhibits all aspects of Igbo culture and examines the way a culture can transform as the world progresses around it. Throughout the novel, readers sense the shift in the characters’ attitudes and beliefs towards once-vital traditions. The bold protagonist, Okonkwo, represents the culture, and as pressures to change appear from the outside world, he comes apart at the seams.
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
As a child, Nwoye is the frequent object of his father's criticism and remains emotionally unfulfilled. Okonkwo, “wanted Nwoye to grow into a tough man capable of ruling his father’s household when he was dead and gone to join the ancestors”(38). When Nwoye finds out that it is Okonkwo who killed a “brother” who he is extremely fond of, and grows very close with, he loses all appreciation for Okonkwo and decides to go against his father and his cultures.
Okonkwo’s values are restricted to physical strength, power, and prosperity, and when the Europeans suddenly arrive, the cultural convergence prompts Okonkwo to respond with even more violence. While the majority of his tribe, including his son Nwoye, is open to considering
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
An Unfortunate Result to Cultural Collision With the increased technology of today’s world, cultures collide constantly, and these interactions can either have positive results of a blended culture, or negative results of horrible tragedies and acts of violence. However, this trade of cultural ideas has been occurring for several thousand years, all over the world. The novel, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, is a breathtaking novel about the struggles of the African tribe of Umuofia to change their lifestyle to comply to that of a powerful group of white foreigners that invade their land. The collision of cultures is adapted to by some better than others, and the novel seamlessly conveys the results of each response to the newcomers, as
Today, Christianity is one of the largest religions in Africa. In the past few decades, there has been a large growth of Christians in Africa - this is coupled with a steady decline in the more traditional African religions. The book, Things Fall Apart shows that a character that has a tragic flaw is one that constantly makes error in there actions that eventually cates us to them and leads them to there doom. Okonkwo, a perfect tragic character, is driven by his fear of being unmanly, this causes him to act very harsh toward his fellow tribesmen, his family and himself; he will judge all the people in the village. In the eyes of Okonkwo, a true man is wealthy, hard-working, and violent.
Not only did Okonkwo face the new idea of Christianity, but so did Chinua Achebe. During Achebe’s interview with The Paris Review, Achebe says “My parents were early converts to Christianity in my part of Nigeria” (Brooks). He saw the effects of the Christian religion moving through his village, something that Okonkwo couldn’t bear to live through. Religion is a major topic in the novel. Chinua Achebe uses religion to show the reader the God in the Igbo culture, their belief in reincarnation, and the colonization of Christianity.
One of the more unusual cultural aspects that is discussed in Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart is the existence of an ogbanje. According to a study of Igbo culture conducted by researcher Bertram I. N. Osuagwu, an ogbanje is “an evil spirt causing people to die suddenly” (Osuagwu 36). Some believe that the ogbanje are deities that enter the world and become human beings, but because of a promise that they made to the spirit world, they die early in their lives (Osuagwu 36). In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s wife Ekwefi believes that she has been cursed by an ogbanje because of the abnormally high mortality rate of her children. Early in the novel, Achebe describes the hardship that Ekwefi has endured, stating “Ekwefi had suffered a good