How does Okeke show that he is a bit more progressive than his neighbors?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is a stretch to call Okeke "progressive."  When he sends a picture of the married couple back to his son, complete with the Nene's head cut out of the picture, there is little in way of progressive thought evident.  Yet, one way in which he can be seen as progressive in comparison to his neighbors would be in his rejection of seeking traditional medicine or indigenous medical practice to "cure" his son.  Okeke was fairly defiant in protest of his neighbors:  "I shall not call in a native doctor."  He continues this resistance in suggesting that his son's actions exist outside of himself with his statement of "It is not for me to help him." In this, there is a progressive chord struck.  Okeke does not seek out traditional forms of redressing what he sees as his son's poor decision making skills.  

At the same time, Okeke can be seen as progressive in that he maintains a clear and cold distance with his son.  Once Nnaemeka makes his decision, Okeke is progressive in how he does not beg or nag his son to change his mind.  While Okeke does embrace traditional notions of the good, he is progressive in how he recognizes that the decisions his son makes are his and his alone.  In this, there is a progressive tendency that can be found in comparison to his neighbors and their professed approach to solving the situation in their own way.


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