Female Role in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Acheebe
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Discuss the role of women in the novel. How are feminine qualities of the Ibo culture important to its survival?
Women: Weak Gender?!
In the novel “Things fall apart” by Chinua Achebe we are introduced to a different Africa than most of us know. We travel back in time and go to the pre-colonial Africa, more specifically Nigeria, to a village known as Umofia where the Ibo people live. The Ibo people form a very archaic and agriculture based society. Achebe introduces us to this new world that was seen by the Europeans as an unsociable and savage place and shows that the African culture was destroyed by the arrival of the Europeans in that land. But not only that, he brings up different points of social analysis like religion, the taboo…show more content… They are the ones who paint the houses of the egwugwu.(The spirits of the ancestors.)
In the first pages of the book it is also mentioned that the most potent war medicine they have is named after a woman.
And it is also possible to see, how the first wife of every man is paid some respect for she is the only who is allowed to wear the anklets of her husband’s titles and also, during the Palm-wine ceremony, where the first wife is the first to drink and the others have to wait for her.
Another perfect example of women’s power is their emotional strength. This is not explicit in the novel but trough the reading it becomes evident how they overcome their status (or the lack of it) in society, mistreatment and other misfortunes – when, for instance, they give birth to twins and have to throw them in the Evil Forest –. Under these circumstances one has to be emotionally strong to survive and that is exactly what these women do.
In chapter 10, a serious case of beating is brought to the egwugwu and the Evil Forest comes in the wife’s favor and says “It is not bravery when a man fights with a woman.”(page 66)
Another proof of trust is the performances of women in farming, where they are designated to prepare the field for the yams in which if it is not done correctly the yams fail. So it is a very important task.
But above all things, the most important feature assembled to women appears when Okonkwo is exiled in his motherland. The idea of women’s power being closely