Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Things fall apart. Achebe.

Ernest Gaines once said, “I write to try to find out who I am. One of my main themes is manliness. I think I'm trying to figure out what manliness really is.” Indeed, every society or culture has its own understanding of an ideal man. Even though these characteristics are different in various parts of the world, the significance of masculinity can never be overestimated. “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe is considered as one of the best examples of a rise and fall of a man who strives to meet all requirements of an ideal masculinity. This paper will prove the manliness of the main character of the novel, and analyze the reasons of his downfall despite the fact that he lives in a society where masculinity is worshiped.
Okonkwo, the protagonist of “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, unlike Ernest Gaines has clear concept of masculinity. His father’s failure to achieve a success significantly influenced and formed his [Okonkwo’s] notion of masculinity. His father Unoka was the epitome and complete personification of un-masculinity within his society. He was “lazy and improvident” and “incapable of thinking about tomorrow” (p. 3). He was so poor that he had to borrow money, but when he failed to do so his family suffered from famine (p. 4). Moreover, in contrast to his son, Unoka was “very thin” and had a “mournful look” (p.4). Their village Umuofia that means “the land of the brave” (p. 91) was the strongest and most powerful
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