Authority In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition for authority is “The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience”. People who hold these powers and rights assume higher positions in society and are more widely accepted among large groups of people. These means of authority are seen everywhere in the world. Throughout America and various other countries, a sense of authority is achieved by highlighting respective groups of people as high figures of society. Often times this illustrates a distinction between the young and the old, the able and the impaired, the wealthy and the poor, and perhaps most widely known, women and men. Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart demonstrates the barriers between men and women in the…show more content…
From a Eurocentric perspective, the gender roles that exist within the Igbo culture are excessive and unnecessary. A similar value for both cultures is instituting guidelines for young boys to look up to in becoming a man; however, the means by which it is done greatly differ from each other. In the Igbo society, specific traits set boys apart from men and establish manliness. Nwoye’s actions in chapter seven of the novel illustrated this best. He began displaying the qualities of a man in his expressions, actions, and remarks. Nwoye “would feign annoyance and grumble aloud about women and their troubles” (Achebe, 1959, p. 32). Okonkwo was pleased to see this development in his son. He yearned for him to grow into a tough and prosperous man. Nwoye’s grumbling about women offered a glimmer of hope to Okonkwo. It showed that he would be able to control his own women someday, something Okonkwo believed to be very important. He stated, “No matter how prosperous a man was, if he was unable to rule his women and his children (especially his women) he was not really a man” (Achebe, 1959, p.32). Okonkwo wanted all of his sons to become men. He “encouraged [them] to sit with him in his

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