Friday November 2nd, 2012
The Dynamic of Father-Son Relationships
The parent-child relationship plays a large role in various literary works. The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, both explore the dynamic of many parent-child relationships. Death of a Salesman regarded the troubling relationship that Willy Loman, an unsuccessful Salesman, had with his two children Biff and Happy. Similarly, in Things Fall Apart it described the life of a man named Okonkwo who had much controversy when it came to his relationship with his two sons Nwoye and Ikemefuna. In these two works, the relationship between father and son plays a large role in the plot of …show more content…
Many times as Linda, Willy’s wife tried to give input on Biff’s future plans Willy yelled at her to stop. “[Linda]: Maybe things are beginning to --- [Willy]: Stop interrupting!” (48). Willy always wanted to be the only influence his sons had. As Linda tried to give input of Biff’s future plans Willy shut her out. Biff did not approve of his father’s attitude towards his mother. After many times that Willy yelled at Linda, Biff stood up to his father. “I don’t like you yelling at her all the time, and I’m tellin’ you, that’s all” (48). As Willy shuts Linda out of Biff’s life he is left without a mother figure. Willy’s control over the family weakened as Biff stands up to him, this caused a fight between them. Willy’s want to have a male dominated relationship produced problems within the father son relationship which then triggered the failure of the relationship.
Throughout the novel Things Fall Apart Okonkwo’s father son relationships with Nwoye and Ikemefuna are the most important and intriguing but tend to fail or weaken over time. The failure of these relationships are linked to the father’s desires, the father’s determination, and the male dominated relationship. Okonkwo was always a controlling father figure. He grew up with the fear of becoming like his own father; this shaped the way he acted for the rest of his life. Many people saw Okonkwo as a strong reputable figure, but also many thought he