© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart


by Chinua Achebe

Nwoye Timeline and Summary

  • Nwoye likes to listen to folktales told by his mother. He secretly prefers them to the bloody war stories told by Okonkwo.
  • When Ikemefuna comes to live with the family, Nwoye becomes intimate friends with him and thinks of him an older brother. As a result of their friendship, Nwoye begins taking on masculine tasks he normally would not perform in an attempt to emulate Ikemefuna. Okonkwo approves of this change in Nwoye.
  • When Okonkwo returns from the group murder of Ikemefuna, Nwoye immediately knows what happened. Nwoye feels a snapping inside him that he has only felt once before. We learn that Nwoye felt the same kind of grief when he heard abandoned twins crying in the Evil Forest.
  • Much later in Mbanta, Nwoye is hypnotized by the sound and story of the missionaries’ song. He is compelled to convert to Christianity against the expressed wishes of his father.
  • After his conversion, Nwoye prepares to go to missionary school in Umuru. As he probably predicted would happen, he is disowned by his enraged father.