Okonkwo And Nwoye Essay Help

In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Achebe focuses special attention on the strained, often toxic relationship between Okonkwo and his oldest son Nwoye. Okonkwo is heavy-handed and dictatorial in how he heads his household. His wives and children fear Okonkwo’s violence and brutality, and Nwoye is often the recipient of Okonkwo’s fury:

“Okonkwo's first son, Nwoye, was then twelve years old but was already causing his father great anxiety for his incipient laziness. At...

In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Achebe focuses special attention on the strained, often toxic relationship between Okonkwo and his oldest son Nwoye. Okonkwo is heavy-handed and dictatorial in how he heads his household. His wives and children fear Okonkwo’s violence and brutality, and Nwoye is often the recipient of Okonkwo’s fury:

“Okonkwo's first son, Nwoye, was then twelve years old but was already causing his father great anxiety for his incipient laziness. At any rate, that was how it looked to his father, and he sought to correct him by constant nagging and beating. And so Nwoye was developing into a sad-faced youth” (13-14).

Okonkwo is abusive toward Nwoye in an effort to instill his own restrictive, masculine values into his son. However, Okonkwo’s forceful, authoritarian parenting style drives Nwoye away from his father. He comes to resent Okonkwo, and later in the novel, he joins the Christian church and directly rebukes his relationship with his father:

“Mr. Kiaga's joy was very great. 'Blessed is he who forsakes his father and his mother for my sake,' he intoned.... Nwoye did not fully understand. But he was happy to leave his father” (152).

After Nwoye joins the Christian faith, he is dead to Okonkwo. Okonkwo resents Nwoye’s perceived weaknesses, and questions how he could produce such a child. Thus, their relationship progresses from strained to toxic, and they eventually separate forever.

Essay Ikemefuna’s Death in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Ikemefuna’s Death in Things Fall Apart

Okonkwo’s participation in the slaying of his adopted son, Ikemefuna is a pivotal moment in Things Fall Apart. It is a moment of horror that cannot please Ani, the great earth goddess, the center of community, the ultimate judge of morality for the clan. It is a moment that changes the course of events, a moment eerily paralleled in the death of Ezeudu’s son. It is a moment that ultimately causes Okonkwo’s son, Nwoye’s to abandon his ancestors and become a Christian. It is a moment when the center of community life, the need to honor blood ties and the need to respect the earth goddess, can no longer hold. It is a moment when things fall apart.

"That boy calls you father. Do not bear a hand…show more content…

Okonkwo justifies this killing of his foster son as a show of his own strength and manliness (66). He does not understand that this is no honor in killing a child who rushes to him for protection. He has in fact killed his own blood.

Obierika, Okonkwo’s best friend is wiser, refusing to go on the sacrificial march. He warns Okonkwo that the slaying of Ikemefuna does not please the Earth, and prophesizes, "It is the kind of action for which the goddess wipes out whole families" (67). Shortly after Ikemefuna’s death, Okonkwo‘s rusted gun explodes at Ezeudu’s funeral, piercing the heart of the dead man’s son, killing the boy instantly. For killing a clansman, Okonkwo and his entire family are banished and Okonkwo loses his position in his village. It is during this time that Christianity establishes itself in Okonkwo’s village. Returning after seven years, he finds that everything he once knew has changed, as the white man’s law now takes precedence over village customs. The men of his village have become like women and everything is falling apart (183).

The impact of Ikemefuna’s death on Nwoye is devastating. Something gives way inside of him when he thinks of his father and the killing of Ikemefuna. The fear of his father and the horror over the sacrifice of Ikemefuna separates Nwoye from tribal customs and the sense of community. His family’s banishment isolates him further. Hearing the Christian hymns, which cater to

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