Misogyny in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

1129 Words Jun 23rd, 2018 5 Pages
Misogyny, the hatred or dislike of females, is a recurrent theme in World Literature. Women’s suffrage was at its prime between 1840 and 1920. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, two stories based in Africa, show different points of misogyny, the first being from the time of women’s suffrage, and the latter being after the women’s suffrage movement. The value, view, and role of women was undermined greatly in these two novels.
Heart of Darkness was published in 1902, deep in with time of the women’s suffrage movement. The author, Joseph Conrad, wrote this novella with a tone that is accepting of sexism. There is no respect for women in Heart of Darkness. Unlike Heart of Darkness, Things Fall Apart
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Although woman may be traded and objectified, but this proves that they are actually worth something to the men. “Okonkwo was very lucky in his daughter. He never stopped regretting that Ezinma was a girl. Of all his children she alone understood every mood. A bond of sympathy had grown between them as the years had passed,” (Achebe 1097) Okonkwo might have wished Ezinma were a boy, but he loved his daughter and the connection they shared. Being a boy, Ezinma and Okonkwo would be able to spend more time together and really bond. Things Fall Apart demonstrates a better image for women and the power they have in society. “The priestess in those days was a woman called Chika. She was full of the power of her god, and she was greatly feared.” (Achebe 1029) A woman holding such a high position, to the point where she was feared, shows that women have the ability to hold power in Things Fall Apart. “Your mother is there to protect you… And that is why we say that mother is supreme.” (Achebe 1082) Despite the overall negative view on women, this quote shows that when things go downhill, the mother is the one who will help you and protect you. This is one of the few instances where women have power over men in Things Fall Apart.