Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart

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Patriarchy is very popular in cultures where manhood and masculinity is praised upon. A man is usually the head of the household and has control of everything that goes on in the family. Furthermore, women would have no value in society. Although this is true for most cultures, China Achebe shows his readers how women play an important role in a patriarch society. In his novel, “Things Fall Apart,” Achebe reveals how customs and traditions play a part in defining the significance of women in their society. Women show their relevance through their housework duties, serving as backbones to their families and taking part in traditional ceremonies. Women demonstrate their value in household chores. The wives in the Umuofia tribe prepare food for their husband and children as one of their duties. After a long day, Okonkwo comes home and expects for his cooked meals to be ready. As he sat down, “He uncovered his second wife’s dish and began to eat from it…then Nkechi came in, bringing the their dish” (Achebe 33). Cooking is a woman’s job especially feeding her husband. Without a wife to cook for him, he would have to partake in a woman’s duty and be compared to her. A man who is compared to a woman loses his masculinity and is not respected. With a wife, Okonkwo avoids that. Women in the Umuofia tribe also have to clean their houses. Before the New Yam Festival started, “Okonkwo’s wives had scrubbed the walls and the huts with red earth until they reflected light” (Achebe 27). A clean household is important incase visitors arrive unexpectedly. Keeping a clean home is a woman’s speciality unlike a man who is more specialized in outside work. The women of Umuofia are also responsible for teaching their kids reasons behind nature and the... ... middle of paper ... ...gain his wife back. Fighting a woman doesn’t show manhood but instead is seen as not being brave. This shows how women are important to men because if a man loses his wife, he can’t fully function. Evil Forest knows that and orders Uzowulu to beg for her to come back. Women in the Umuofia tribe are placed below men in the systematic patriarchy pyramid. Although they are not in the same level as men, they are still valued above them in a few cases. Women’s relevance is shown through household duties, while they serve as backbones to their families, and participate in traditional ceremonies. Women are portrayed as weak in the Umuofia tribe because they can’t gain titles or hold up certain positions like the men. This doesn’t define the value of women in their culture. Their hard work and input to family households is what should define their significance in society.

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