Fear Of Weakness In Things Fall Apart

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Sarah Leung Helling English 201 13 October 2017 The Battle Within “…His [Okonkwo’s] whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness…It was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father” (13). In the novel Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s shame for his father, Unoka, motivates him to be everything his father wasn’t. As a result, Okonkwo hides behind masculinity and conceals his emotions, in hope of escaping weakness. Stubborn and impulsive, Okonkwo makes rash decisions to uphold his reputation, which affects his tribe and his family. Okonkwo’s constant fear of resembling his father takes over his ability compromise and causes him to suffer from depression, the “loss” of his son, the loss of…show more content…
Furthermore, Okonkwo’s fear of being weak and resembling his father, forces him to act without compassion, and he suffers the “loss” of his son, Nwoye. Like Unoka, Nwoye is effeminate and sensitive. After Ikemefuna dies, Nwoye notices that he feels the same as when he saw twin babies left to die in the Evil Forest, “Then something had given way inside him [Nwoye]” (62). Nwoye is an innocent child who is baffled by the cruel rituals of his clan. He loses respect for Okonkwo and the traditions of his clan. He is unable to forgive his father for killing his adopted brother and unable to forgive his clan for allowing Okonkwo to do so. When the missionaries come to Umuofia Nwoye is intrigued by Christianity, a better way of life, where he feels relief. Strict and inflexible, Okonkwo is angered by Nwoye when he finds out that he converted to Christianity, because Nwoye abandoned their ancestors and he thinks the missionaries are effeminate. Later, Okonkwo tells his five other sons of Nwoye: “You have all seen the great abomination of your brother. Now he is no longer my son or your brother. I will only have a son who is a man, who will hold his head up among my people” (172). Okonkwo disowns his eldest son, Nwoye, because he betrays the clan. Okonkwo’s inability to be compassionate and understanding, drives Nwoye away, and he loses his eldest son. In addition, Okonkwo’s strive to be manly and unlike his father,

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