Analysis Of Feminism In Things Fall Apart

Decent Essays

The analysis of feminist theory in Things Fall Apart presents reason for the sexism that is continuously portrayed. Sexism and problematic gender roles within the novel are repeatedly depicted throughout a number of scenes and characters. With this, we are able to see how sexism exists in various cultures and how the implementation of sexism is detrimental to society. Although, as feminist theory states, rebelling and challenging the patriarchal system is necessary to halt gender roles and sexual restriction (Leitch 24). Ekwefi represents this break from gender roles and stands out as the only female figure that acts boldly in a time of stress. However, exclusively analyzing feminist theory for this text undermines just as vital theories …show more content…

When Okonkwo discovers that Nwoye has found a new faith in Christianity, he claims that Nwoye is a woman and not a man nor his own son and addresses that Nwoye is effeminate and degenerate (Achebe 153). These gender roles for men are problematic because it implies that the men in Okonkwo’s life cannot stray away from highly masculine tendencies or else he will be ostracized or beaten. Feminist theory is applicable to this certain situation because Okonkwo perpetuates the male gender role for his son when Nwoye wishes to break from the roles. Okonkwo illustrates the use of gender roles and lack of feminism in his daughter, Ezinma and his regret of her being a girl (Achebe 137). Okonkwo’s desire for his daughter to be a man is problematic and represents the patriarch’s refusal to view women as equal to men. Throughout Ezinma’s life time, Okonkwo expresses his desires for Ezinma to be born a boy ( Achebe 137). He explictly states to himself that he, “wishes she were a boy,” because she “understands him perfectly” (Achebe 136). Okonkwo expands on this desire as he continue to express how Ezinma is his favorite among the daughters and that she understands the ways of his consciousness and his moods (Achebe 137) . Although these expressions are subtle, Okonkwo’s regret of Ezinma’s gender plays a role in the patriarchal induced gender roles that women are socially lesser than men. Society’s standards

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