Essay on the Role of Women in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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The Role of Women in Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart explores the struggle between old traditions within the Igbo community as well as Christianity and "the second coming" it brings forth. While on the surface, it appears the novel narrows its focus to a single character, Okonkno and his inner battles, one can read deeper into the text and find an array of assorted conflicts in the realm on human vs. human, human vs. nature, human vs. society, and society vs. society. For the purposes of this paper I shall focus on the labyrinth of human vs. human and human vs. society in the framework of the role of women in Igbo society and how men assign and dictate these roles. I will also briefly explain the importance…show more content…
A clear instance of this is the case of Okonkwo's mother. While the presence of his father, although negative, is prevalent in much of the novel, the presence of his mother is all but nonexistent. To my knowledge, his (unnamed) mother shows up only once in the text, three days after his participation in the ritual murder of Ikemefuna, his "adopted" son (Jeyifo 3). For the first time in three nights, Okonkwo slept. He woke up once in the middle of the night and his mind went back to the past three days without making him feel uneasy. He began to wonder why he felt uneasy at all. It was like a man wondering in broad daylight why a dream had appeared so terrible to him at night. He stretched himself and scratched his thigh where a mosquito had bitten him as he slept. Another one was wailing near his right ear. He slapped the ear and hoped he had killed it. Why do they always go for one's ears? When he was a child his mother had told him a story about it. But it was as silly as all women's stories. Mosquito, she had said, had asked Ear to marry him, whereupon she fell on the floor in uncontrollable laughter. 'How much longer do you think you will live?, she asked. 'You are already a skeleton.' Mosquito went away humiliated, and anytime he passed her way he told Ear that he was still alive (Achebe 53). This could have been a critical turning point in the text pre-shadowed by what we were told earlier in
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