Things Fall Apart



Nwoye takes after his grandfather to a very great extent. Okonkwo often complains of Nwoye’s lack of manliness and is moved to anger at his expense. However, Nwoye does not receive from Okonkwo the kind of gentle guidance that he needs. This comes instead from Ikemefuna, the boy who is sacrificed to Umuofia as a debt for his village’s crime. Nwoye learns much from Ikemefuna.

At the same time, Nwoye does try to impress his father and act manlier. After his father murders Ikemefuna to appease the gods, though, Nwoye turns from Okonkwo and never again attempts to please him. Nwoye follows a different path from that point on. His path is only described as from a distance—perhaps because it is so foreign to Okonkwo, through whose perspective most of the novel is given. Nonetheless, Nwoye represents something that Okonkwo does not wish to be—the gentle strain in humanity, which resists the savagery of the beast.

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