Okonkwoye In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Okonkwo & Nwoye
Nwoye is Okonkwo’s oldest son and causes grief to Okonkwo because he is more similar to his grandfather than him. While trying to appease his father, and live up to the life that he has envisioned for him, Nwoye falls prey to many beatings from Okonkwo. The fact that his own son was so much like the father he hated weighed heavily on him on he thought the beatings would correct it. Nwoye enjoyed the stories of his mother more so than the war stories from his father. Because he thinks violence is masculine, I guess Okonkwo thought he could beat it into him which is quite ridiculous. A quote from the novel details how Okonkwo treated his family stating, “Okonkwo was a very strong man and rarely felt fatigue. But his wives and
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Okonkwo went to such an extreme to prove his masculinity that he kills Ikemefuna. Masculinity has such a hold of him that he lets it dictate his actions is ways that are different than his emotions. He loved Ikemefuna because he was ideally the son he wanted, masculine, tough, a warrior. Even though he had compassion for the boy, evening trying to help him get to safety, when his back was against the wall he let his pride and fear of being like his father to do something he really wanted to do. The novel shares this sentiment stating, “As the man who had cleared his throat drew up and raised his machete, Okonkwo looked away. He heard the blow. The pot fell and broke in the sand. He heard Ikemefuna cry, “My father, they have killed me!” as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (Achebe 27-28). One can question is it truly masculine to act of out fear? What we see he as in other examples in present and past, there is a direct correlation between male masculinity and male fear. I believe Okonkwo would rather be violent when not needed, instead of showing his fear and considered weak. Ezedu told Okonkwo not to be a part of his execution even though he did have to be sacrificed. Ezedu even tells Okonkwo, “that boy calls you father” (Achebe 57). The fact that he had participated in it for fear that if he hadn’t done it himself, he would be seen as weak and cowardly made him just

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