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Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Essay example

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The definition of sexism is discrimination on the basis of sex. In many cultures sexism was and still is a controversial topic. In fact, women in America couldn’t even vote until the 1920’s. The abundant masculinity in this novel is not sexism but just how the culture functions. Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart is not sexist towards women; in fact, it shows that women are essential to the Ibo society and posses a great amount of strength.
For example, the novel is not sexist because it emphasizes the importance of the women to the society. One of the major contributions women make is the amount of crops they harvest. “His mother and his sister worked hard enough, but they grew the women crops like coco-yams, beans and cassava. Yam, the king of crops, was a man’s crop” (Achebe 23). This quote may seem sexist since the men only harvest one crop, but still receive all of the praise; instead it is the exact opposite. This quote makes it clear that women create most of the crops and although they are not considered “manly crops” there is no doubt that without those crops food would be a lot scarcer. In fact the women do most of the work:
According to United Nations statistics women in rural Africa (where at least 70 percent of the population lives) do 75 percent of the weeding, 60 percent of the harvesting and 85 percent of the processing and storing of crops. They also do 95 percent of the domestic work, which includes cooking, cleaning and walking long distances to fetch water and firewood. (Kofi)
Chinua is obviously not being sexist in his novel because he touches on everything in the quote above. He also makes it apparent that the women do a great deal of the work instead of saying the men do everything. Women are also s...


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...ction of Ibo women that one gleans from Things Fall Apart can also be seen in real Ibo culture, as women are treated and act in very parallel ways. (Kramer)
It is clear that Achebe is not being sexist when he talks about women in his novel; instead he is relaying facts about the real life tribe.
In conclusion, Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart is not being sexist. He uses this novel to focus on telling a story about the Ibo culture based on facts so the audience can form their own opinion on the system of the society. With that said he is only stating the facts and therefore his novel cannot be considered sexist.




Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor, 1994. Print.
Kofi, Osei. "The Weaker Sex." New Internationalist. N.p., Sept. 1987. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.
Kramer, C.R. Women In Things Fall Apart. 6 December 2007. Web. 14 March 2014



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