Even the crops were gendered (Okhamafe 127). Coco-yams, beans, and cassava were “women’s crops” (Achebe 23). Yam, the “king of crops”, was “a man’s crop” (Achebe 23). In Umofia, all that is desirable and admired is associated with manliness. Anything that is demeaning or scornful is considered to be womanly.
Before the arrival of European influence, villagers of Umuofia had a single option for a way of life. It was a place to be feared, dominated by war and violent practices. Ibo culture is centered on a patriarchal system based on hierarchy; the highest titles held by male egwugwu in the legal system and the osu at the bottom. The main character, Okonkwo, represents the ambition to strive for a higher position in society in order to gain status: “His life had been ruled by a great passion-to become one of the lords of the clan” (131). Another aspect in Ibo culture is the representation of women. They are undermined in order for men to achieve success; bride prices are used to able men to marry more than one wife and husbands are
In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, women of the Ibo tribe are terribly mistreated, and viewed as weak and receive little or no respect outside of their role as a mother. Tradition dictates their role in life. These women are courageous and obedient. These women are nurturers above all and they are everything but weak.
It is true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother's hut. A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness, he finds refuge in his motherland. Your mother is there to protect you. (Achebe 116)
Women are very important in some cultures however in others, such as in the Igbo
The Role of Women in the Ibo Culture The culture in which 'Things Fall Apart' is centered around is one where patriarchal testosterone is supreme and oppresses all females into a nothingness. They are to be seen and not heard, farming, caring for animals, raising children, carrying foo-foo, pots of water, and kola. The role of women in the Ibo culture was mostly domestic. The men saw them as material possessions and thought of them as a source of children and as cooks.
Women are often thought of as the weaker, more vulnerable of the two sexes. Thus, women’s roles in literature are often subdued and subordinate. In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, women are repressed by an entrenched structure of the social repression. Women suffer great losses in this novel but, also in certain circumstances, hold tremendous power. Achebe provides progressively changing attitudes towards women’s role. At first glance, the women in Things Fall Apart may seem to be an oppressed group with little power and this characterization is true to some extent. However, this characterization of Igbo women reveals itself to be prematurely simplistic as well as limiting, once
The book “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe is a fictional look at the social and cultural life of an African tribe of the lower Niger River region. It depicts the every day life of the tribe and its members. It also shows the culture and customs of the tribe.
Polygyny and father-son Inheritance are important aspects of the igbo culture although they are only two of many. Polygyny is the practice of having multiple wives, which in the igbo tribe determined your social status. “ There was a wealthy man in Okonkwo’s village who had three huge
Yam, the king of crops, was a man’s crop” (Achebe, 1994, p.22-23). This proves that there are gender roles in every aspect of the Igbo culture including the growing of crops. It is a man job to do the yams because yams are the main food staple of the Igbo culture. In this culture is a man’s job to provide for the family. The yams also show masculinity because it shows they're not afraid of hard work. Even if Igbo faction are sophisticated in male/ female jobs and partnership others may argue that Igbo faction are
The men and women on Wogeo both lead very different lives, this is made clear by the distinct rituals that each sex participates in throughout their life, the roles held in tribal events as well as the strict customs that are adhered to in the daily life. Now, though the men and women have very different customs that they practice, both sexes of Wogeo are noticeably similar on a social scale. The truth is that on the island of Wogeo the tribes are male dominated. Through practiced customs and social norms the women of Wogeo are able to increase their social status to be on par with that of the men.
Women like Chielo who are priestesses play an important role in the religious life. Chielo, the priestess, is a spokesperson for one of the Igbo gods, Agbala. Achebe writes in the novel, “But Chielo…went on shouting that Agbala wanted to see his daughter” (p. 90). In this example, Chielo is no longer Ekwefi’s friend whom she often talks with, but a spokesperson becomes possessed by Agbala. A priestess is very powerful in Igbo culture. People regard the words through a priestess’s mouth as oracles. Therefore, God’s spokesperson is actually the spiritual leader of the people who hold in awe and veneration. No one can challenge Chielo’s authority in front of their god. The novel describes Okonkwo’s failure to prevent his daughter Ezinma from
At first glance the treatment of women in an Igbo marriage is appalling, the woman may be beat if she is out of line, she raises the children, does the housework and even some farm work without hesitation. For the Igbo clan, a marriage is the union between a man and as many women as he desires and can afford to buy. A marriage is done for the purpose of having numerous children and love between man and wife is not even a requirement. The wife is given the option to leave if she is unhappy and despite the fact that the choice to leave or to stay seems obvious, the pros seem to outweigh the cons for an Igbo woman.
The Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a straight to the point story, embedded with interesting elements that capture readers’ attention. In my view, when I read the story, I found many interesting things about the theme of the book. But The Masculinity Okonkwo was what captures my attention. The story opens up to a Traditional Igbo lifestyle, a theme which is highly stylized from its ritual to the actions performed for certain ceremonies. Most of the action Igbo tribe has been an attempt to show respect to the gods, for example, when ikemefuna became sick and his stomach swelled up their traditions says that he take them to the evil forest and kill him. The story also seems to focus on gender,
In the patriarchal society of the Ibo, a woman must submit to an older man’s demands specifically of a husband or family member; she is rarely in full control of herself. Emecheta writes that “a girl belonged to you today as your daughter, and tomorrow, before your very eyes, would go to another man in marriage” to suggest the presence of a dominant male figure in all walks of life (17).