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Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe

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Student Question

What characteristic of Okonkwo persuades Nwakibie to give him yam seeds?

Expert Answers

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Nwakibie admires the fact that Okonkwo works so hard and maintains an image of masculinity that is valued by the clansmen.  In chapter three, Nwakibie says, "It pleases me to see a young man like yu these days when our youth has gone so soft (Achebe 21-22)."  Okonkwo has worked hard to overcome the shame he feels for his father's laziness and has developed into a strong-willed, diligent man who values hard-work and persistance.  Nwakibie trusts that Okonwko will work hard to develop and grow his farm and in turn, offers him double the amount of seeds that he requested.  Okonwko indeed follows through and becomes an extremely successful, well respected farmer and clansman.

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