Things Fall Apart
Ezinma seems to fit the bill here. She’s the apple of Okonkwo’s eye. Though she doesn’t inspire him to create any music or works of art, she does bring out his compassion, leading him to express his care and concern in ways that he doesn’t do for anyone else. When she falls sick with fever, he immediately gives up his sleep to forage in the woods for healing herbs. He boils the medicine himself and administers it to her, thus saving her life. We wonder if he would do the same for…oh say…Nwoye. Probably not. Another telling scene comes when Chielo abducts Ezinma. Okonkwo agonizes over whether to stay home and show his strength and obedience to the gods or give into his concern and follow after his daughter. In the end, he does the latter. This is one of the few times when Okonkwo chooses to show a ‘feminine’ sort of compassion rather than adhere to his stoic masculine image.