The author Chinua Achebe, in the novel, “Things Fall Apart,” shares the extreme diversity between the female and male characters residing in Umofia. Okonkwo, the male leader of the tribe, carries qualities such as power and manliness, as all men are expected to. As for the females they are commonly referred as being weaker for child bearing and more responsible because they are expected to cook, clean, and take care of their children. Although the traits of the Igbo culture vary in the determination of the sexes, both genders share both positive and negative aspects of their community.
For many reasons outside of the biological differences between male and females they are treated differently in Igbo cultures. Women of Igbo are referred to as being weak because they have feminine qualities such as having children, cooking and cleaning. “In Things Fall Apart, the Igbo women were perceived as being weak. They received little or no respect in the Igbo society and were harshly abused”. Achebe uses the perfect example of the men not respecting woman when Okonkwo yells at his youngest wife Ojiugo, for leaving her hut to get her hair braided without dinner made. Okonkwo doesn’t drop it after the yelling, he continues to beat her publicly for disobeying him. The women of Umofia don’t get to think for themselves they must do as they are told, for example, on page 14 Okonkow’s eldest wife asks, “Is he going to be staying with us long” referring to Ikemefuna, a family friend, and he quickly replies, “ Do what you are told, woman.” Achebe writes the language of the story so that he is very clear that women are not respected by the males. That the females are not often called by their real names instead they are referred...
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...wanted to save Ikemefuna from death, Achebe states, he could not do that because he is too prideful and being strong for men in Umofia, is not just a characteristic but a lifestyle. Okonkwo has no problem letting go of his son Nwoye because he chose the catholic religion over what his father believed in. For a while, Nwoye was intrigued by the music coming from the church but did not stop because he was afraid of how his father might act. The day Nwoye finally paid a visit, Okonkwo was so angry he started choking Nwoye and proceeded to say that can not be his son, that his wife must have played him false. Okonkwo feared that because he son does not listen to him that he is not powerful enough, and if a man can’t control his kids then he is not considered a real man. Achebe uses this example to show how a man will act when he no longer feels as masculine as he should.
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