Essay Okonkwo’s Relationship with Nwoye and Ezinma

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a) Discuss Okonkwo’s relationship with Nwoye and Ezinma.

Okonkwo treated his son and daughter very differently. The child-father relationship between Okonkwo and Nwoye was a distant and strained one while Okonkwo exhibited another type of feeling towards Ezinma which is filled with care and concern. This was due to the fact that Nwoye “was already causing his father great anxiety for his incipient laziness” whereas Ezinma was thought to have the “right spirit” and “alone understood [Okonkwo’s] every mood”.

The relationship between Okonkwo and Nwoye is very stressful and bitter as Okonkwo has very high expectation for his eldest son. Hence Okonkwo always “sought to correct him by constant nagging and beating” when he was irritated
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He might be afraid that Okonkwo would “strangle” his son as he claimed before and betrayed him like he did to Ikemefuna. This made their relationship become more stressful.

Towards the end of the novel, Okonkwo and Nwoye’s relationship was broken and escalated to the point of no return. When Okonkwo knew Nwoye was among the Christians, he was “overcome with fury” and hit Nwoye “with two or three savage blows” with a “heavy stick”. The uses of word such as “savage blows”, “sprang” illustrate the intensity of his fury that even could kill him. At last, Nwoye “walked away and never returned”. It marked the end of their relationship and was further emphasised when Okonkwo reminded himself that “Nwoye was not worth fighting for” and he was not his son. He was totally disappointed with Nwoye’s believe and would not even like to be associated with him as he said “he did not wish to talk about Nwoye”. He also informed his five other sons not to follow Nwoye, otherwise “I will visit you and break your neck”, making a clear cut between their relationships. This also shows how Okonkwo was ashamed and resented Nwoye as a converter and disobeyed his order and expectation. In addition, when Obierika asks Nwoye about his father, he has replied “he is not my father”. Thus we can see their relationship is broken and

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