Relationship Between Okonkwo And Nwoye

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Okonkwo’s relationship with Nwoye illustrates the internal conflict of individuality vs society. Okonkwo’s actions reflect his desire for power in his village, while Nwoye conveys feelings of divergence from his culture. Okonkwo often attempts to establish that he is unsympathetic, such as when he unnecessarily killed Ikemefuna, denying that killing someone he loves will affect him in any way. Nwoye on the other hand often feels alone, as he puts on a mask of masculinity just to please his father, when really he’s just a compassionate child. The theme of power is evident here, and Achebe shows how varying personalities will interpret it differently. Okonkwo values power as being a societal leader rather than personal growth, as a byproduct…show more content…
He has never been the stereotypical warrior that the men are expected to become in Umofia. This attitude is reinforced by his distant relationship with his father. Okonkwo often castigates Nwoye because of his “laziness”, not realizing Nwoye is just a child. Nwoye only receives positive interaction from the women in his life, with Okonkwo only ever conveying frustration towards him. Another factor that furthers his opposition to his culture is his aversion to some of the rituals, such as the killing of twins, beating of wives, or killing members of other clans. When Ikemefuna becomes part of his family he starts to integrate himself more in society, but when Ikemefuna is killed it makes him want to isolate himself even more, “Nwoye knew that Ikemefuna had been killed, and something seemed to give way inside him, like the snapping of a tightened bow” (61). Nwoye reminisces how he felt like this one other time, when he heard twins crying as they were killed in the Evil Forest. It breaks Nwoye to see innocent people being killed, and it creates a barrier to him appreciating Igbo traditions and values. This denotes the theme of isolation in Nwoye, who feels trapped and unable to express himself in his village. When the Christian missionaries arrive, it is Nwoye’s opportunity to escape the life that had been written out for him in Umofia. He gets a chance to be free and for the first time, make a decision

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