Essay about Role of Women in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

1453 Words6 Pages
The role of women in society has grown and changed tremendously with the development of the world. Within the American culture, women’s rights have expanded to the extent of being able to vote for who runs our country or even possibly being the person that does run our country. Although the American culture has somewhat promoted the growth of a woman’s role in society, does not mean women receive the same respect in other cultures around world. For example, in Africa women are viewed lower on the totem pole of importance even though without them the village would fall apart. Chinua Achebe is an author that was born and raised in a village of Nigeria. From growing up there, Achebe understands the culture of Africa better than…show more content…
The way in which the women of the Igbo village are presented, by Achebe, make it seem as if they serve very little purpose to the society. The main character, Okonkwo, is infatuated with making sure he does not turn out to be like his father. By living in a village where manliness was crucial and weakness was not, Okonkwo viewed his father as being a weak and cowardly mean because he could barely support his family. To make sure he did not become an adult that resembled his father, he developed the characteristics of being brave, wealthy and even violent. Since he acquired these traits, it gave him a sense of superiority over his wives and the other women of the village. Perhaps because of Okonkwo’s behavior, the women of the village are treated with less respect. It is portrayed by Achebe that the women of the Igbo village only purpose is looking after the children and helping their husbands when or if it is needed. Although the women of the Igbo village are described as being insignificant, the women are the people that fill in the gaps in the society. For example, the women are the ones that cook, clean, take care of everyone, help harvest and grow food, as well as all the other everyday tasks that are easily overlooked. Achebe mentions specific characters for a reason or in this case he leaves out a specific character. Okonkwo’s mother is mentioned merely once in Achebe’s novel, Things Fall
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