Read this article to know about the character analysis of Nwoye in Things Fall Apart.
Nwoye Character Analysis in Things Fall Apart
Nwoye was the eldest son of Okonkwo. He was 12 years at the beginning of the story, and he was a very sensitive man. He did grow under the shadows of his successful, demanding and powerful father. However, his interest and purpose for life were quite different from his father, and they take after those of Unoka his grandfather.
When the father wanted him to change, he received a lot of beatings before the actual arrival of Ikemefua who taught him a gentler form of masculinity. As a result, the Okonkwo did back-off, and Nwoye did start to win his grudging approval. He remained conflicted and expressed feminine things to please his father (Chinua Achebe, 1959). However, by doing this, he missed the stories from his mother’s end.
In the book, Nwoye is portrayed as a boy who lacks confidence, and it is the sole reason why he was receiving a harsh treatment from his father, Okonkwo. However, Okonkwo did choose to give him guidance through violence as opposed to counsel. For instance, in the occasion where Nwoye had not cut yams from their planting farm properly, the father cautions him not to cut it in that size or else he will break his jaws.
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The treatment thus leaves him more frightened and did not want to make any mistake again. The gentleness and peaceful nature of Nwoye did go against the culture of the society which required a man to be masculine and violent. For instance, he did like to listen to the stories and tales whom the women told as opposed to the violent battles that Okonkwo took an opportunity to tell him.
Therefore, on the realization of the society’s attitude, he did display a high level of pretence by showing a high degree of likeness to the violent stories to evade the wrath of his father (Whittaker & M.-H, 2007). His father was later pleased with him, and the move saved him from the beatings. However, his life changed when the missionaries came to Mbata.
His faith and hope reawakened and did join forces with them. However, due to that move, he was disowned by his father, Okonkwo but in contrary, he got freedom from his father’s tyranny.