Essay on Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart, And Nawal El Saadawi

Essay on Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart, And Nawal El Saadawi

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Throughout this semester, we have learned many different techniques that authors use when writing African stories. These techniques include rites of passage, myths, the characters of trickster and hero, and many others. One of the important things that was taught in the very beginning of the semester about African stories was that authors use these techniques in stories to make different kinds of social commentary. There are two authors in particular that have stood out in their use of heroes in order to comment on gender roles in society. One of the authors is Chinua Achebe in his novel, Things Fall Apart, and Nawal El Saadawi in her novel, Woman at Point Zero. In both of these novels, there is the struggle of masculinity and femininity that the heroes of these stories deal with. Achebe and Saadawi uses the heroes within their novels to talk about unjust gender role expectations in their respected settings. Their commentary on masculinity and femininity in society is powerful and heavily noted in their novels.
To start off, in Things Fall Apart, there is a plethora of examples of masculinity within the story. Okonkwo is deemed the hero of the story, or so it seems in the beginning of the story. The first half of the story introduces him as a hero in the sense that he is the most powerful man in the Igbo tribe. He wins in his strength, his fruitful family, his titles, and his plentiful crops. But although Okonkwo is a successful member of the tribe, he is that way because of his father. Unoka, Okonkwo’s father, was considered a pathetic person. He was lazy, did not have any titles, and died with a lot of debt. Okonkwo did not want to be like his father and so he worked very hard and looked down at people who were like Unoka. But...


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...cept being oppressed. When she stood up against it, others were afraid. And as a result, although Firdaus is considered a hero, she is a tragic one in that she ends up getting sentenced to death. But what really solidifies Firdaus as being a hero is when she finally agrees to speak to Nawal. While she was in prison, she was not willing to speak to anyone. By telling Nawal her story, it shows that she wants others to hear her story and learn from her. Not necessary by becoming a prostitute but she is clearly advocating for females to stand up to the societal injustice that they face, from men and other women alike. A hero is someone that is able to lead his or her people into a new era. The fact that she was so reluctant to have any visitors but finally does in order to let other people know about her story so that they do not have to be oppressed makes her a hero.

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