Okonkwo In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Helen Rowland once said, “A man’s desire for a son is usually nothing but the wish to duplicate himself in order that such a remarkable pattern may not be lost to the world.” Such is the motivation behind Okonkwo’s desire to fashion his son, Nwoye, in the image of himself so that he would one day be the great, masculine, warrior and sachem that is Okonkwo. In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Nwoye serves as a foil to his father, Okonkwo, in the cantankerous relationship between father and son. Nwoye contrasts his father’s brawny personality by exhibiting what Okonkwo views as feminine qualities. In Okonkwo’s eyes, a man must always act in a masculine way. He must always choose stories of blood and war over stories of peaceful animals.…show more content…
It is a subject that eventually causes a deep divide between father and son. Okonkwo is extremely dedicated to his tribe and faith and cannot entertain thoughts that are in conflict with the strong laws and beliefs that have been in existence for generations. He trusts his Chi and the religious leaders that live among his people. Okonkwo does not dare question the rulings of the Gods and when they order him to kill Ikemefuna, he kills him. Okonkwo also believes in the brutal killing of twins, and that all boys must grow up to become warriors. Nwoye’s sensitivities strongly reject the brutality of the tribe’s religious laws and customs. He allies himself with the local Christian sensibilities which are in direct contrast to what his father admires and respects. When Okonkwo’s good friend Obierika witnesses Nwoye among the Christians, he approaches Nwoye and begins to speak, ‘“What are you doing here?’ . . . ‘I am one of them,’ replie[s] Nwoye. ‘How is your father?’ Obierika ask[s], not knowing what else to say. ‘I don’t know. He is not my father.’, [says] Nwoye, unhapily.” (143,144). Sadly, Nwoye feels very little connection to his culture or his father. Nwoye questions things. He does not understand why Ikemefuna, who had become like a brother to him, had to be murdered. Nwoye questions why twins must be left in the ‘forest of evil spirits’ to die. Nwoye does not understand why his father beats him for
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