Examine how Nnaemeka and his father are different.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One way in which both father and son are different from one another has to be in how each of them views tradition.  Okeke is insistent that his son marry a girl of his choice.  It is imperative to the father that the son adhere to the rules and traditions of the Ibo culture.  Nnaemeka is fundamentally different in this regard.  When he challenges his father's preconceptions in suggesting that he wants to marry a woman that he loves, the son shows himself as being different in his rejection of tradition.  Nnaemeka displays that he is more willing to embrace his own freedom and choice than be submissive to whatever tradition dictates.  

Another level of difference between them is their emotional flexibility.  Nnaemeka is willing to embrace his father, even though he holds different beliefs about marriage.  From the start of the story, the son seems flexible in trying to bring peace with his father.  The son sends letters to his father and pictures, seeking to bring about consensus.  This emotional pliability is fundamentally different from Okeke, who rejects his son with claims of "Satanic influence" or returning letters with Nene's had cut out of pictures.  There is a fierce streak of stubbornness in the father that the son simply does not possess.  It is here in which another difference between father and son is evident.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nnaemeka is significantly different from his father because he accepts modern ideas regarding marriage, while his father subscribes to traditional views of marriage. Nnaemeka is a young Ibo man, who is determined to marry Nene. Not only has Nnaemeka's father not had a say in who his son is marrying, but Nene is also from a different tribe. Traditionally, the Ibo parents play the role of matchmakers and choose who their sons will marry. Nnaemeka's decision to marry Nene out of love and without his father's say creates a conflict in his relationship with his father. Nnaemeka's father is portrayed as a callous, traditional man, who stubbornly ends his relationship with his son after Nnaemeka marries Nene. In contrast, Nnaemeka is depicted as a modern, compassionate man, who courageously marries the woman he loves despite his father's feelings.