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Okonkwo's oldest son, Nwoye, yearns for his father's love and compassion and is deprived of the unconditional love a father should provide for his son, but is not provided because it would be perceived as weakness and therefore not manly.

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Introduction

Jeremy Gelbart Okonkwo's oldest son, Nwoye, yearns for his father's love and compassion and is deprived of the unconditional love a father should provide for his son, but is not provided because it would be perceived as weakness and therefore not manly. Nwoye's behaviors and characteristics such as laziness and sensitivity resemble Okonkwo's father, Unoka. Okonkwo loathed his father's to such an extreme that he swore to himself to become his father's antithesis. He receives many beatings from his father until Ilkemefuna arrives and teaches him a gentler form of successful masculinity. Nwoye becomes conflicted because, "Okonkwo encouraged the boys to sit with him in his obi, and he told them stories of the land-masculine stories of violence and bloodshed. Nwoye knew that it was right to be masculine and to be violent, but somehow he still preferred the stories that his mother used to tell"(53). When the missionaries came to his village his hope and faith reawakened, but "it was not the mad logic of the trinity that captivated him. He did not understand it. It was the poetry of the new religion, something felt in the marrow. ...read more.

Middle

as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak"(61). After Okonkwo heard of Nwoye's conversion he thought, "How then could he have begotten a son like Nwoye, degenerate and effeminate? Perhaps he was not his son. No! he could not be. His wife had played him false. He would teach her! But Nwoye resembled his grandfather, Unoka, who was Okonkwo's father.... How could he have begotten a woman for a son?"(153). Despite Okonkwo's efforts to perfect what his father hadn't, he stumbles upon new problems which he had created himself. In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo has some qualities, which could categorize him as a tragic hero. However, only the reader's interpretation of the character's actions will determine if he is a tragic hero or not. Aristotle, in his work, "The Poetics", defines a tragic hero. According to his definition, the tragedy ends in death; however, the death is meaningful. Also, it the tragedy ends with a transformation not only for the character but also for the people. The hero dies as a martyr for his people and restores the moral order in the universe. ...read more.

Conclusion

After Okonkwo was freed from prison, he remembers when Umuofia was more had a warlike spirit. He is worried that his clansmen would rather make peace, but if that were their decision he would fight alone. When Okonkwo kills the court messenger, his fellow clansmen almost back away in fear of him. When he realizes that nobody supports him he realizes that he cannot save village and people of Umuofia and their way of life. Everything that Okonkwo cares and loves has fallen apart, which makes his subsequent suicide not shocking and perfectly understandable, since, the basis of his life is the village and if is village no longer exists why should he. The commissioner believes that since he has spent " many years in which he had toiled to bring civilization to different parts of Africa "and has "learned a number of things, that his experience allow him to write a book on The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Nile"(208-09). The Commissioner, like other colonialists, thinks he knows a lot about the Igbo, although, he really knows very little, especially that they are not primitive. Even before the British arrived their culture had intricate systems of justice, government, society, religion, and medicine. ...read more.

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