Masculinity and male relationship: Things Fall Apart, Who Will Stop The Dark

1275 Words Nov 28th, 2014 6 Pages
Masculinity and Male Relationships Masculinity can be defined as a set of qualities or characteristics that is found generally in men, although some women may acquire this trait in certain conditions. Some qualities that attribute to masculinity are strength, boldness, wisdom, honor, and courage. The traits of masculinity are often passed down from father to son, but in some cases fathers may not possess this trait and the son will either acquire it on his own or from another paternal figure. Two literary works that portray the theme of masculinity is “Things Fall Apart”, a novel by Chinua Achebe, and “Who Will Stop the Dark” a short story by Charles Mungoshi. Achebe uses the theme of masculinity to describe Okonkwo’s characteristics and …show more content…
Also in the fourth chapter it says, “Yam stood for manliness, and he who could feed his family on yams from one harvest to another was a very great man indeed. Okonkwo wanted his son to be a great farmer and a great man”3. Okonkwo associates masculinity with yams. According to him the more yams a man can grow determines his position in society. This quote also explains how men are judged on how they are able to provide for their family.
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
Open Document