Western Imperialism In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

Decent Essays

Novels are an invitation into a distant world that mirrors aspects of modern culture and often shares the same underlying issues in current society. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe provides a unique perspective of western imperialism from an African’s view. The novel allows readers to delve into the sophisticated culture of the Igbo people and their complex social structure. Through Okonkwo, one of the former leaders of the tribe, Achebe conveys the violent clash of cultures and the disintegration of traditional Igbo beliefs instigated by British colonization. In spite of its historical setting, Achebe manages to effectively establish connections in his novel with issues relevant in today’s world.
A prominent aspect of Igbo society revolves around its social hierarchy that defines the superiority of men over women. Achebe describes, “His [Okonkwo’s] wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper…” (Achebe, 10). Achebe portrays the severe power imbalance in Igbo marriages and the rigid gender roles expectations that require women to submit to their husbands and endure abuse. While the Igbo’s social structure offers movement for working men, the fate of women is already predetermined, due to their inability to claim titles, and they will ultimately be labeled as second-class citizens, destined to serve men. The implications of traditional gender roles has been defined throughout human history, and it unfortunately continues to be evident in

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