Conflicting Conflict In Things Fall Apart, By Chinua Nwoye

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Conflicting Identities Throughout the journey of life, there is one place where war is always being waged; that place is the human heart. The greatest battle of all, the one on the inside, is fought between one’s calling and what the world desires of that individual. It is a challenge to allow a person’s own aspirations to overcome that which others want for them. If a person truly feels like they have been designated for a special purpose in life, especially if it is by the Lord Jesus, it often means sacrifice. Sometimes, following what one knows to be true forces that individual to sever ties with the closest of loved ones. Heeding to a call is an internal conflict found in abundance in literature. In the novel, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua…show more content…
When he was just a small boy, his dearest friend Ikemefuna is killed by Okonkwo. Okonkwo has always shown disapproval for the lack of masculinity in Nwoye. Nwoye is very distant from his father, and has deep psychological wounds from the rejection of Okonkwo. When he first hears the hymns sung by passionate missionaries, Nwoye’s heart is stirred by the magnificent poetry and tunes of the music. Eventually, Nwoye leaves his father and joins the church of the missionaries. When asked about Okonkwo, Nwoye states that Okonkwo is not his father (Achebe). Nwoye’s behavior is significant because it is a result of emotional neglect by his father. He seeks fatherly love, and finds it in the divine Heavenly Father. The holes in his heart are healed by the love he finds in this new religion. Although it means forsaking his father, Nwoye joins the Christians and leaves the pagan Ibo religion. Nwoye does not concern himself with his father’s opinion of Nwoye’s behavior, because he has already experienced disapproval from his Okonkwo. In a way, Nwoye’s transformation to a Christian is an act of revenge towards Okonkwo for the way Okonkwo has treated his son. The removal of Nwoye from his culture is an example of the major theme of the novel that shapes the work as a
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