Things Fall Apart

Nwoye Character Analysis

Nwoye is Okonkwo's eldest son. Nwoye resembles his grandfather Unoka, in that he's drawn to gentleness and music, even though he recognizes that his father disapproves. This tension between Okonkwo and Nwoye leads to an eventual split when Nwoye becomes one of the clan members who leave the clan to join the Christians.

Nwoye Quotes in Things Fall Apart

The Things Fall Apart quotes below are all either spoken by Nwoye or refer to Nwoye. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of Things Fall Apart published in 1994.
Chapter 7 Quotes

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…

Related Characters: Nwoye
Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 16 Quotes

But there was a young lad who had been captivated. His name was Nwoye, Okonkwo's first son. It was not the mad logic of the Trinity that captivated him…It was the poetry of the new religion, something felt in the marrow. The hymn about brothers who sat in darkness and in fear seemed to answer a vague and persistent question that haunted his young soul – the question of the twins crying in the bush and the question of Ikemefuna who was killed.

Related Characters: Okonkwo, Nwoye
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 17 Quotes

Living fire begets cold, impotent ash.

Related Characters: Okonkwo (speaker), Nwoye
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 153
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliqui

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Nwoye Character Timeline in Things Fall Apart

The timeline below shows where the character Nwoye appears in Things Fall Apart. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
...wives and young children suffer, however, and are afraid to complain openly. Okonkwo's first son, Nwoye, is twelve years old and already worries Okonkwo with his laziness, which Okonkwo seeks to... (full context)
Chapter 4
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
...with him, which ends up taking three years. Ikemefuna is afraid at first, even though Nwoye's mother treats him kindly. When Okonkwo hears that Ikemefuna is refusing to eat, he stands... (full context)
Masculinity Theme Icon
Ikemefuna becomes popular in the household, and he grows very close with Nwoye in particular. Even Okonkwo grows fond of Ikemefuna, though he refuses to show it, since... (full context)
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
After the Week of Peace, Okonkwo begins preparing his seed-yams for planting. Nwoye and Ikemefuna help by counting, and occasionally Okonkwo allows them to prepare a few yams... (full context)
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
...like a member of the family, telling his own folktales from the Mbaino. He and Nwoye have become very close. Nwoye looks back on this period fondly. As the rain lightens... (full context)
Chapter 7
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
...in Okonkwo's household, becoming a part of his new family. He is especially close to Nwoye, who begins to enjoy performing more masculine tasks around the house, pleasing his father. Okonkwo... (full context)
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...leave, Okonkwo calls Ikemefuna to tell him that he'll be taken home the next day. Nwoye bursts into tears upon hearing the news, and Okonkwo beats him heavily. The rest of... (full context)
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
When Okonkwo walks into the house at night, Nwoye knows that Ikemefuna has been killed, and he feels something give way inside him—the same... (full context)
Chapter 8
Masculinity Theme Icon
Okonkwo doesn't eat for two days, drinking only palm-wine instead. He calls Nwoye to sit with him in his obi, but Nwoye is afraid of him and slips... (full context)
Chapter 15
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Okonkwo's first wife cooks dinner and Nwoye brings the wine. After dinner, Obierika mentions that the money in the bags is for... (full context)
Chapter 16
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
...that the white missionaries have come to Umuofia. Furthermore, he reports that Okonkwo's eldest son, Nwoye, is among them, which is why Obierika has come to see Okonkwo. Okonkwo refuses to... (full context)
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
...dialect of Igbo makes him sound like he's saying “my buttocks” instead of “myself.” However, Nwoye was captivated by the hymn he heard about brothers who sat in darkness and in... (full context)
Chapter 17
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
Nwoye keeps his attraction to the new faith a secret, not wishing to anger his father,... (full context)
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
One morning, Okonkwo's cousin, Amikwu, passes by the church and sees Nwoye among the Christians. He tells Okonkwo what he's seen, and when Nwoye returns to the... (full context)
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Fate vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
...as the “Roaring Flame,” and wonders how he could have borne a weak son like Nwoye. Then, as he gazes into the fire, he realizes that “living fire begets cold, impotent... (full context)
Chapter 20
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
...two new wives. He also plans to initiate his sons into the ozo society. After Nwoye joined the Christians, he told his other sons that they could follow in Nwoye's steps... (full context)
Chapter 21
Tradition vs. Change Theme Icon
Language Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
...Umuofia shortly after Okonkwo's return. He attempts to greet Okonkwo with news of his son Nwoye upon Okonkwo's return, but Okonkwo drives him out with threats. (full context)