Essay on An Analysis of Sexism and Its Effects on Igbo Society

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An Analysis of Sexism and Its Effects on Igbo Society

There are a lot of things in the world that people take for granted. That is, until those things start to damage them. And slowly, but surely, the damaging starts to turn to destruction. By the time they realize their mistake it is too late.

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart takes place in Igbo Nigeria before and during its colonization by the white man. It centers around Okonkwo, a Nigerian man from the clan of Umuofia, who holds power and prestige and whose life is constantly dominated by anger and fear of being weak. Throughout the novel, one of the recurring themes is that of women and fairness in gender. Men and 'masculinity' overall
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The Oracle of the Hills and the Caves telling him to go home and work like a man is concrete evidence of the Umuofian superstition that masculinity is the preferred way of living. When the Oracle, the very religion of Umuofia, states that it is unmanly to be lazy and weak, it implies without statement that hard work and success are traits relative to masculinity. Such traits are generally agreed upon as very respectable and important in the eyes of most prosperous societies. Furthermore, when Okonkwo is farming yams with his eldest son Nwoye, he constantly faults Nwoye's efforts, because he believes that, "Yam stood for manliness…Okonkwo wanted his son to be a great farmer and a great man. He would stamp out the disquieting signs of laziness which he thought he already saw in him" (32). Okonkwo thinks Nwoye is lazy just due to the fact that he is not a farmer of the masculine yam crop. His thoughts are proof that the Umuofians believe in superiority of masculinity and preference of masculine traits. The belief is so ground into the people that it is evident in several aspects of Umuofian life, including the agricultural economy that feeds the mouths of the clan, and even family.

While manliness is considered a virtue, women and agbala are for the most part delegated to being subordinate to men, showing once

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