Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

Decent Essays
In history many ancient and early cultures lived in a society where gender influenced their way of life. In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the Igbo tribe in Africa bases their people’s social status and everyday life on gender. Women are expected to be submissive and thought to be weaker compared to their male counterparts. Men on the other hand are thought of as strong and must live up to the expectations of the clan. There are several instances in the book that strongly emphasize the masculine roles in the Ibo tribe’s society. Throughout the book, Okonkwo’s extreme views on masculinity gains him the respect of his community. In his community Okonkwo is greatly praised for his masculinity. It is Okonkwo’s desire to be accepted by his community and insecurities that leads to him becoming an outcast in his community which eventually led to him committing suicide. Okonkwo would rather die than to develop a feminine reputation like his father. As a clansman of the Igbo, being a well provider for your family, a strong protector, and an influential fatherly figure are things that define masculinity. The theme of masculinity is used to describe Okonkwo’s climb of the societal ladder. In the book, Okonkwo is overly obsessed with his and his son’s masculinity but scarcely tells the reader what he believes constitutes true masculinity. According to Okonkwo any kind of sensitivity reeks of weakness. The reason behind Okonkwo’s extreme beliefs of what defines masculinity traces
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