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Chapter 7-8

posted Oct 26, 2011 18:51:09 by
How does Okonkwo’s values dictate Nwoye‘s behavior? How does Nwoye’s attitude towards these values affect our understanding of Ibo culture? Who do you think will be more accepting of the missionaries, Nwoye or Okonkwo? Why?
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6 replies
TEREN03 said Oct 26, 2011 21:40:31
In a sort of parallel to the values Okonkwo received from HIS father, Nwoye wants to be the opposite of what his father is. Nwoye looks the part in front of Okonkwo, but he prefers the woman stories of the manly ones and he likes it when okonkwo's wives ask him to do things for them. I think Nwoye will be more accepting of the missionaries because his allegiance to Ibo society has been damaged by his father's relationship with Nwoye as well as his actions.
COLIN03 said Oct 26, 2011 22:19:06
I agree with Terence in how Okonkwo's abundant beatings and nagging pushed Nwoye to a point where he refuses to be what his father his and adhere's to the feminine aspects of the Ibo culture. Nwoye must maintain his appearance of being manly and tough much like his father and keep the gentle hearted Unoka deep within him. I also believe that Nwoye will be more adherent to the missionaries preachings because Okonkwo has a great life already in the Ibo community and doesn't need a new and separate force for him to feel accepted by. Nwoye on the other hand feels distanced from his society because the expectations are for him to be tough and bloodthirsty, which are not his personality.Though the gods of which both Nwoye and Okonkwo pray to sentenced their friend and surrogate son/brother Ikemefuna to be killed, influencing Nwoye and Okonkwo to reject these gods and turn to the missionaries beliefs.
ZACH03 said Oct 26, 2011 22:36:09
I do not exactly agree completely with what Terence wrote. I agree that Nwoye has completely opposite values and ideas than his father, but i don't agree that it can be likened to the situation with Okonkwo and his father. Nwoye doesn't despise everything his father stands for and therefore want to be the opposite, he is just naturally different in thinking. That being said, Okonkwo tries to force his values on Nwoye, so the boy pretends as if they are his to avoid being nagged or beaten. Achebe describes how Nwoye loves being asked to do chores like chopping wood and pounding food, but "on recieving such a message through a younger brother or sister, Nwoye would feign annoyance and grumble aloud about women and their troubles" (52). Nwoye pretends to be irritated by doing these chores because he knows it will please his father. I believe that Nwoye will be more accepting of the missionaries. One of the values Okonkwo is trying to force upon Nwoye is the importance of tradition, and the beliefs of these missionaries will greatly defy the traditional Ibo beliefs. Nwoye, on the other hand, show fascination with everyhting and would probably be interested by these strangers.
CIARA03 said Oct 27, 2011 01:29:41
I agree that Okonkwo forcing his views onto Nwoye causes him to push away from them, but I don't agree that Nwoye wants to be the opposite of his father. He begins to enjoy "difficult or masculine tasks in the home, like splitting wood or pounding food" (52). He doesn't always feel the same way as his father, such as preferring the feminine stories, but I don't think that he's trying to be opposite from his father in the way that Okonkwo was growing up. I think that Nwoye would be more accepting of the missionaries, because Okonkwo will view it as weakness if anyone tries to take over.
MAT03 said Oct 27, 2011 03:38:12
I think a proverb that would be useful for Okonkwo to hear is "you can lead a horse to water, but you cant force him to drink." Okonkwo is constantly trying to force physical and mental strength on his son, Nwoye. He tells him stories of bloodshed and combat as a way to promote the attributes that he wants Nwoye to obtain and understand. When Okonkwo feels that his son does not meet the masculine expectations, he beats him and nags him as a way to teach him a lesson. By beating Nwoye, Okonkwo is creating almost a subconscious repulsion in Nwoye's mind to what his father believes is right. Okonkwo has provided his son with situations and stories that emphasize the importance of being manly as someone would lead their horse to water. The horse cant be forced to drink and react to the situations provided as Nwoye cant be forced to believe in certain things and act in certain ways. Achebe supports the idea of Nwoye's disingenuous expressions of masculinity when he states that "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). Okonkwo's forcing of violence and physical excellence onto his son proves that individuals who felt differently about the norms of the Ibo society were expected to disregard their individual beliefs and conform to the ideals of society. Because Okonkwo was considered successful and was satisfied with his life, he will be very unlikely to follow the missionaries because he will see no need for change. On the other hand, Nwoye will look to the missionaries as an escape from the society that seems to reject his interests and desires.
EM03 said Oct 28, 2011 03:49:31
I agree with the proverb that matt provided because even though Okonkwo is trying to push everything that he thinks a man should be onto his son, his son disagrees with his father in many ways. He likes the womenly stories instead of the manely ones, he cries which shows weakness while Okonkwo will never cry because that would reveal weakness and failure. I also agree with ciara when she said that she does not believe that Nwoye wants to be the oppiset of Okonkwu. I think his personality is the oppiset of his father but inside himself he wishes he was like him. His father has so much power within the clan and many people look up to him and he wishes he could be like that. His personality just wont permit him to be so masculine. Okonkwo is also the one of the few man in Nwoyes life and not including Ikemfuna, is the oldest of them (he has two brothers that are younger then him) so I think that Nwoye looks up to his father greatly.
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