From Academic Essays

Does Failure Make a Man?: Manhood in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, by Jessenia Gutierrez

The relationship between Okonkwo and Nwoye is important in Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart, because it shows how a deep fear can interfere with the way a man lives his life.
Okonkwo is afraid of being a failure like his father Unoka, and because Nwoye, Okonkwo’s son, shows similar characteristics of Unoka, Okonkwo tries to correct him so that he can be a man and not be seen as effeminate and lazy like Okonkwo’s father, Unoka. This fear causes Nwoye to stray from his father, Okonkwo. By forcing Nwoye to become the kind of man he is not, Okonkwo’s relationship with his son falls apart.