After I finished reading Things Fall Apart, my mind was left pondering certain aspects of the book. The major issue that continued to nag at my thoughts was the relationship between the main character Okonkwo and his son Nwoye. We see through the book that these two characters, with their vastly different character traits, can never seem to get along. But is the conflict between parent and child something exclusive to the Ibo culture? I don't believe so, as even in our day in age and culture we still face the same conflicts, like that of Okonkwo and Nwoye's.
From the start of the book we can already comprehend the conflict between Okonkwo and Nwoye. It starts with simplicity, in that Okonkwo is merely concerned that his son is seeming weaker than he himself appeared at that young age. Yet as the book progresses we bein to see how serious the conflict is from one character to another. In some chapters we are given hope that the relationship while be mended, like when Ikemefuna comes to live in the family's household and begins to positively influence Nwoye in Okonkwo's eyes. But this moment of hope is cut short due to Okonkwo killing Ikemefuna, which leads Nwoye to fear his father because if Okonkwo was willing to kill a child who he was very fond of, what would stop Okonkwo from killing Nwoye? This leads to a major lack of trust. For many chapters we just continue to see how little Okonkwo respects his son, especially when Okonkwo watches his best friend's son become a star wrestler when his own son is still listening to bedtime stories. The relationship continues to grow worse and worse until missionaries come to the clan and Nwoye makes a life changing decision of converting from the Ibo culture over to Christianity, which of course leads Okonkwo to disowning him and a great sense of shame. The relationship between Okonkwo and Nwoye can essentially be boiled down to the proverb included in the text, which basically states that roaring fire can only produce...
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