Gender Roles In Things Fall Apart


Expectations can be difficult to meet when there is a raging shadow looking over. Okonkwo was famous as a wrestler, a raging hero, and an effective rancher of yams. He has three spouses and several kids who live in huts on his compound. For the duration of his life, he damages for an endless fight for status; his life is overwhelmed by the dread of shortcoming and disappointment. Men and women have very different expectations when it comes to society.

One example of gender roles proving the theme is between Okonkwo and his 3 wives.   In this chapter, we notice Okonkwo fears flaws, an attribute that he connects with his dad and with women. At the point when Okonkwo was a youngster, another kid called Unoka agbala, which is applied to point to ladies just as to men who have not made a name for themselves. Since he fears imperfection, Okonkwo is very strict with his family. He discovers his twelve-year-old child, Nwoye, to be slow and womanly, so he beats and bothers the kid constantly. “No matter how prosperous a man was, if he was unable to rule his women and his children (and especially his women) he was not really a man.”(52-53). This quote shows that in the Igbo culture, in those days men were the predominant sex and still are today. Ladies were more compliant and lived in distress of their partners. Spouses were required to live in agreement with one another and care for the family household and crops. The quote supports the theme because having bunches of wives and kids appeared to be major due to the feeling of having a major family unit with a tough man controlling it. It shows the big gap between men and women in society. It confirms that men and women play different roles in the Igbo culture, seeing women stay in the kitchen while men take care of crops and the things women couldn’t do in that period.

    Another example of gender roles proving Men and women have very different expectations like jobs, actions, and their overall income is the relationship between Okonkwo and his oldest son, Nwoye. In this part of the book, Okonkwo is slowly noticing things about Nwoye that don't seem to be right or normal in his eyes. He notices that Nwoye acts more like his mother than his father. “I will not have a son who cannot hold up his head in the gathering of the clan. I would sooner strangle him with my own hands.”(22-23). This quote above all says that Okonkwo would rather murder his son than live with an unmanly one. Okonkwo is thinking of his reputation as a man, which he doesn’t want to be damaged by a soft son. Okonkwo comes to view Nwoye as a disappointment and extremely womanly. He could not stand Nwoye because of the same experience he had with his father. This paragraph helps prove the theme because fathers have significant expectations for their sons. This quote is essential to the theme because it shows the expectations Okonkwo has for Nwoye and all the men in Umuofia.

When it comes to society, men and women have very separate requirements. The literary device I chose works well to support my theme because it shows how Okonkwo treats his wives and his oldest son. The roles men and women have in this society are important to help the villages function in an efficient way. One can see in this novel that it is not the gender roles that lead to the fall out of society. Even though Okonkwo does take his role more seriously than one should, it is not until the Christians colonize the villages that things begin to fall apart. Both quotes i listed above work together to prove the theme by presenting a brief idea of how gender roles are brought up in the book. According to the igbo culture a woman is supposed to stay in the kitchen, a man is supposed to do hard work and ruler over woman. Gender roles in society is a problem that needs fixing with the help of men and women. A man should restrict a woman for her action, as equality means that things are the equal, we should treat everybody with the same respect.

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