Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart

1595 WordsFeb 16, 20177 Pages
Growing up in an environment where one’s parents and society restrict the behavior of that individual, can be a very challenging situation to be in. This was so for Nwoye. Raised in the Igbo culture, social order was said to demand conformity. It was a culture where he was forced to act a certain way, or be punished by his father Okonkwo, which wasn’t a type of lifestyle Nwoye would want to be living all his life. The book, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe uses Nwoye to exemplify the outcomes in a relationship, of a father forcing masculine and cultural tradition values his son, Nwoye. Although, Nwoye’s curiosity on the Igbo culture and will to become the person that he wants to be, comes before him even if it calls for going against…show more content…
Likewise, men like Okonkwo feared the word agbala, as it “was not only another name for a woman, it could also mean a man who had taken to title” (13). Having no titles or women-like traits in a man was especially a poignant insult to Okonkwo. Due to Okonkwo’s drive to avoid having the poor traits found from his father Unoka, like an unmanly and weakened character, Okonkwo especially forces it upon himself and his children, specifically Nwoye, to act in line and uphold a masculine character. However, this was hard for Nwoye as he always possessed a more feminine character on the inside. When it came to hearing stories, “Nwoye knew that it was right to be masculine and to be violent, but somehow he still preferred the stories that his mothers used to tell” (53). Acknowledging that “his father wanted wanted him to be a man” Nwoye tried his best to portray a masculine character, as shown by the way “ [Nwoye] feigned that he no longer cared for women 's stories”(54). By doing so, “...[Nwoye] saw that his father no longer rebuked him or beat him” (54). Clearly, Nwoye realizes the conformed way boys like him should be acting but his true self that is unlike most of the other men, gets entangled with the way he was “supposed” to act. The outcome of the way Nwoye’s father has expected him to grow up as, contradicting with the genuine character of Nwoye, created an entanglement in Nwoye’s head on which self he would choose to represent

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