Another aspect of male relationship aside from his father is Okonkwo’s relation with his son Nwoye. Okonkwo fears that his son will turn out like his father Unoka: lazy, weak, debtor and hold no title. Nwoye serves as an opposite to being masculine as describe by his father. “Okonkwo was popularly called the Roaring Flame... How then could he have begotten a son like Nwoye, degenerate and effeminate? Perhaps he was not his son… But Nwoye resembled his grandfather, Unoka, who was Okonkwo's father…. How could he have begotten a woman for a son?”4. Okonkwo compares himself to fire, a symbol of masculinity. Okonkwo is extremely frustrated with Nwoye because he is not fire-like as him. He is so frustrated that he thinks his wife slept with another man and that Nwoye is not his son. After Okonkwo’s exile, Nwoye took this chance to follow his own path and
Gender inequality is an issue that has been relevant throughout our history yet only became a true fight near the start of the 20th century. Men and women have different roles that they are forced to play in society. Men are seen as the money maker in the family, and women are seen as the homemaker with a less important role. Men were respected and seen as superior to women. The fight for gender equality has challenged these traditional roles that have been assigned. The roles that women play in society have changed now in the 21st Century, but not without a little help. Influential writers such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman and John Steinbeck have helped pave the way for equal right through their powerful literature. Gilman and Steinbeck
Throughout the literary works of Things Fall Apart, The God of Small Things, and The Hungry Tide, they all share the universal theme of gender inequality. Although Things Fall Apart is African based and the other two novels Indian, the three demonstrate similar struggles women are forced to overcome strictly due to being female. Throughout time, women have been considered the inferior gender, constantly being dominated by men. One can link this to men generally being the more physically stronger gender, and how they have used this as an advantage to control women. Each book has its own examples of gender relations and the difference in women’s roles.
Gender inequality is a problem that has been plaguing the world for a very long time. The United States has made great strides to promote gender equality. Despite all of those strides America has made, there are still reminders of the gender inequalities people have experienced in American Literature. The good thing about this is that the slow progression of change in the women’s rights sector can be seen by comparing various pieces of literature dealing with the issue of gender inequality to the time of its creation. The best way to observe this progression is by comparing two different pieces of literature from different time periods, and take note of differences, as well as the events that could be viewed as responsible for those changes. Two literary piece that
Women were traditionally seen as the weaker sex – second-class citizens with a lower social status than men. A woman’s place was in the home. Men did the “heavier” labor, like plowing and hunting.
Okonkwo life is “dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness” (Achebe 13). When Okonkwo was a boy, his playmates teased him calling, saying that his father was agbala. Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, was lazy. He did not work on his farm; he died in great debt. He did not acquire a single title. He did not have a barn to pass down to his son. Unoka is a type of man who is scorned in Umofia. He is seen as weak and effeminate. As Okonkwo grows older, he is determined not become a failure like his father. His father was weak; he will be strong. His father was lazy; he will be hard-working. Okonkwo earned his fame by defeating the reigning wrestling champion. Okonkwo diligently plants yam, building a successful farm. He builds himself an obi, has three wives and many children. His fame “rested on solid personal achievements” (Achebe 3). Okonkwo will not let one womanly trait sully his reputation. Therefore, he “hate[d] everything that his father Unoka had loved” (Achebe 13). One of these was gentleness. Okonkwo refuses to show any signs of emotion, except his temper. He
The difference between men and women is a very controversial issue, while there are obviously physical differences; the problem is how the genders are treated. It is stereotypically thought that the men do the labor work and make all the money, while the women stay in the house, cooking, cleaning and taking care of the children. While this stereotype does not exist as much in the 21st century, it was very prevalent in the 1900s. By using many different literary tools such as character development, symbolism, and setting, Alice Munro’s Boys and Girls and John Steinbeck’s The Chrysanthemums challenge this controversial topic of the treatment of women versus men in the 1900s.
Both authors develop different female characters, who are not seen as level with man but as inferior to them.
Gender inequality is a very interesting topic in the world today or even in the past. All through the 17th to the 18th century, women expectations were entirely different from the expectations in the current 21st century. Females were expected to work typically in their homes only; those who did the opposite were looked down by the society. The sole purpose of women was to be a maker of the home and bear kids while the man was expected to work outside the house. This type of mentality is evidenced in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, and “A&P” by John Updike; they all illuminates on the submissiveness, the obedience of women to a man 's authority that was considered unexceptional at the onset of the twentieth century because the themes of the inscrutability of women, domesticity, patriarchal dominance and female identity are present in all these works.
In the modern world women work, vote, run for office and the list goes on. In most aspects, women are equal to men. However, this was not always the case. In centuries past, women were not viewed as being equal to men socially, intellectually, or politically and were thought incapable of accomplishing anything of value. Consequently, many cultures held the view that women were possessions whose only purpose was to be subservient to men. The view of women as mere objects is evident in various works of literature throughout the ages. Two classic works of literature that exemplify this are The Thousand and One Nights and Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of
The setting of both stories reinforces the notion of women's dependence on men. The late 1800's were a turbulent time for women's roles. The turn of the century
Chinua Achebe unfolds a variety of interesting connections between characters in the Novel Things Fall Apart. Relationships with parents, children and inner self are faced differently, however the attitude that Okonkwo gave them determined what kind of outcome he generated from these relations. Okonkwo looks at everything through his violent and manly perspective and is afraid to show his real feelings because he thinks that he may be thought out as weak and feminine this paranoid attitude lead him to self-destruction.
Okonkwo’s harbouring of his sentimental emotions is a crucial part of his personality which makes him the way he is, for example, Okonkwo hates music because of the emotion that is required to create it, he rejects the idea of meaningful conversation because he considers it to be soft, and as he ages, he is rejecting the increasingly obvious fact that violence does not constitute inner strength. Firstly, it is revealed in the novel that Okonkwo does not like music and that he is bad at playing it which shows that he lacks the ability to express his emotions through listening to or creating music. Furthermore, Okonkwo’s ideals of not liking conversation and considering them weak goes against the mentality of his village which believes that “conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.” Lastly, as Okonkwo gets older, he is slowly realising that his violent ways are not truly making him a strong person but are in fact, slowly destroying him but Okonkwo refuses to accept this and continues with his violent attitude. Okonkwo has trouble revealing his true emotions ad even though they are present, he would never express them to anyone.
The breakdown of Okonkwo’s relationship with his son is evident throughout this novel. The reason for this tumultuous relationship is, Okonkwo is too engrossed in maintaining his status quo, and his relationship was governed by his own beliefs, principles and his own “right way to do right things”. He treated his family very strictly as he believed that showing affection revealed a sign of social weakness; thus the disheartening lack of respect and love was a mal nourishing factor with in the family.
Throughout history, women have been seen in many different lights. From a woman’s perspective she is strong, smart, helpful and equal to men. In the eyes of men, she is seen as the weaker being, the housewife, and the caretaker. By looking at the following pieces of writing, one can see that through the centuries, women have struggled to break out of the mold that man had put her in and make themselves known in society as important.