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
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.
The author, Chinua Achebe, used Okonkwo as an example of the father/son conflict and how the conflict affects a man’s life. Just because one does not always act like the typical strong, almost emotionless man, that does not mean one is coward. Okonkwo’s thought process leads to his demise because he cannot bear to see the strong willed tribe and culture he has known his whole life fail him: just
In the culture we live in today, we are bombarded with ideas and images of “what we should be”. We are expected and obligated to modify ourselves in order to live up to social expectations and to feel accepted by others. It is the fear of being an outcast that pressures us to mask our true identity. Therefore, in an American culture, one can form an identity and still remain true and authentic to oneself through nonconformity and self-reliance. Jon Krakauer’s novel Into the Wild portrays Chris McCandless’s journey of discovering his true identity through the idea of nonconformity.
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
(p.143) Okonkwo most definitely did not accept Nwoye joining the missionaries. Okonkwo strangled his own son because he changed his beliefs. He could not be himself around his own family, he felt more comfortable around the missionaries; complete strangers. When Christian missionaries brought a new religion to the Ibo culture Nwoye changed his opinion about his cultures beliefs and religion. Nwoye was one of the best characters in this book because he had a conscious.
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
These sudden behaviors against his son nwoye completely make him to adapt opposite ideals from his father Okonkwo just like okonkwo and his
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).
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
The novel “things fall apart” is about the fatal demise of Okonkwo and the igbo culture of Umuofia. Okonkwo is well known and respected leader in his community, who is successful in everything he does, such as wrestling and farming. He is quick with his hands and takes pride in his accomplishments. Okonkwo’s family relationship makes him a sympathetic character because of his support and an unsympathetic character because of his cruelty. In many ways Okonkwo showed that he had no sympathy for others , However at times he could be sympathetic.
"That was the kind of story that Nwoye loved. But he knew that they were for foolish women and children… [that he] no longer cared for women's stories" (Achebe 46,47). Nwoyes' identity was subjected to gender stereotype that he feels like he has to play a role in order to satisfy his
Nwoye, although he is a male, is viewed as a very feminine character. Okonkwo’s dislike of “a woman for a son” (153) pushes Nwoye to the Christian Church and Okonkwo’s actions show the imbalance of respect and the dislike of women in a patriarchy. Although he is viewed as “womanly” and weak, Nwoye gains power through the Christian Church, joining “effeminate men clucking like old hens” (153). Indeed, the white religion is viewed as womanly also; however, the Christian religion proves to be a powerful force in changing the masculine ways of the Ibo tribe. This change symbolizes the influence and powerful impact women can have on traditional and masculine thinking.