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Things Fall Apart (Okonkwo - Research Paper Example

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Things fall Apart Introduction Things Fall Apart, authored by Chinua Achebe, is an African prose that narrates the transition from a pre-colonial era to the colonial era. The novel addresses the crisis of African cultural collapse during the colonial rule…
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Things Fall Apart (Okonkwo
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Download file to see previous pages Nwoye, Okonkwo’s oldest son, was a major character that accepted and embraced the new order to the disappointment of his father. Nwoye was the opposite of his father. He loathes war and violence, which Okonkwo cherishes. He embraces the new religion, which Okonkwo vows to destroy. Nwoye’s final decision to leave his father house clearly shows the cultural collapse the new religion brought to the Igboland. The Story Though Okonkwo is a respected leader in the Umuofia tribe of the Igbo people, he lives in fear of becoming his father, Unoka, an idle, poor, profligate, cowardly, and gentle man and could not even think of tomorrow. Throughout his life, Okonkwo attempts to be his father’s direct opposite. From an early age, he builds his home and reputation as the precocious wrestler, who throws Amalinze the Cat “in a fight which the old men agreed was one of the fiercest since the founder of their town engaged a spirit of the wild for seven days and seven nights” (Achebe 3) He was also a hard-working and a productive farmer. He becomes prosperous, thrifty, courageous, violent, and adamantly opposed to anything else that he perceives to be “soft,” such as conversation, music, and emotion. He marries three women and fathers eleven children among. He is stoic and tough on the outside but he was not a cruel man. Okonkwo’s life takes a turn a when an accidental murder takes place and Okonkwo was given the responsibility of adopting a boy named Ikemefuna from the village, Mbaino, where the murder took place. Okonkwo comes to love Ikemefuna like a son since the latter turns the feminine Nwoye into a man. In fact, he loves him more than his natural son, Nwoye. After three years, though, the tribe decides that Ikemefuna must die. When the men of Umuofia take Ikemefuna into the forest to kill him, Okonkwo actually commits in the murder. Although he’s just killed his adopted son, Okonkwo shows no emotion because he wants to be seen as courageous and not weak like his own father was. Inside, though, Okonkwo feels painful guilt and regret. But since Okonkwo was so wrapped up in being tough and emotionless, he isolated himself from Nwoye, who was like a brother to Ikemefuna. Indeed, Okonkwo never portrays emotions towards anyone even though he feels inward emotions at times as he did after killing Ikemefuna. Okonkwo wraps his inward emotions by outfits of anger express through violence, stubbornness, and other irrational behavior. He was impulsive; he acts before he thinks. Okonkwo demands that his family work long hours despite their age or limited physical stamina, and he nags and beats his wives and son, Nwoye. Later on, during a funeral, Okonkwo accidentally shoots and kills a boy. For his crime, he was sent on exiles for seven years in his mother’s homeland, Mbanta. There, he learns about the coming of the white missionaries whose arrival signals a collapse of the Igbo culture. They bring a new political system, colonial government; and a new religious order, Christianity. The two new systems weaken the cohesive force among the Igbos and leads to eventual collapse of the Igbo culture. For instance, Igbo outcasts, the Osu, become accepted in the society. As the Christian religion gains legitimacy, more Igbo people including prominent sons became converted. Just when Okonkwo has finished his seven-year sentence and is allowed to return home, his son Nwoye converts to Christianity. Okonkwo is so bent out ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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