Ib English Written Task

993 Words Feb 6th, 2013 4 Pages
Essay Outline
Prescribed question: How and why is a social group represented in a particular way?
Title of the text for analysis: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
Part of the course to which the task refers: Part 3: Literature – text and context
Key Points: • Define masculinity in Okonkwo’s viewpoint • Explore how Okonkwo never shows his emotions because of fear • Describe the struggle of Okonkwo’s strength • Discuss the importance of Okonkwo’s reputation of Umuofia • Explain why Okonkwo emphasized on his masculinity

Critical Response In Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, interpretations of masculinity were challenged. Masculinity commonly means the characteristics related to men. Okonkwo, a
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Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, was poor, weak, lazy, a failure and a coward. Unoka was in a lot of debt. He loved gentleness and idleness. He did not like the sight of blood. (Achebe, 1994, p. 6) In contrast, Okonkwo entered upon to be strong and hardworking, not wanting to be gentle or idle. The strong wrestler was not scared of blood at any moment, showing he was a strong individual that can deal with death of others. (Achebe, 1994, p. 67) From then on, Okonkwo wanted to show Umuofia that he was not similar to his father in any way; he wanted to be better than his father because he did not want to be known as a son of a borrower who did not give money back to the lender. As a result, Okonkwo worked to not be a failure like his father. He changed how he behaved as a man to be successful. (Achebe, 1994, p. 4) Okonkwo worked hard to have a title in Umuofia and to supply money for his family. Masculinity was shown in the fear of weakness because Okonkwo represented masculinity through his behavior. Masculinity was depicted in Okwonko 's fear of weakness. In some parts of this novel, Achebe showed the reader the wrong ways to be a man by showing what was weak, causing the readers to believe the complete opposite of how a man should truly act. Okonkwo was afraid of being weak because it would directly contradict his idea of how he should act as a man. He strived for strength and power. By showing his aversion of weakness to the readers, it gave Okonkwo’s definition
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