Masculinity In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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The Role of Masculinity in Things Fall Apart Masculinity typically refers to the common traits inherited by a male. Males are stereotyped to provide support for the family. Support can be executed in many ways such as through protection and financial and emotional bolstering. However, the term masculinity has various definitions and can be viewed through different lenses. In the novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the concept of masculinity is portrayed thorough the main character, Okonkwo. Okonkwo is Unoko’s son and he strives to live a life embracing manliness in a way that his father did not. His father expressed his manliness through self expression while Okonkwo displays his through being angry, violent, and patronizing. Okonkwo’s masculinity only lies in his patronizing and narrow minded behavior that often seeks to be aggressive through absolute power.…show more content…
Okonkwo is feared by his family members due to his aggressive nature. He is not very open and friendly with his wives and children which creates barriers in the family. His social life is wrecked. “Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did his children… But they dared not complain openly.” (Achebe 13) Men in the Ibo culture are given more importance and authority over the women. The women are known as the “weaker sex” because they were not given as many opportunities outside of their daily house life. Okonkwo 's children and wives have absolutely no power because they were scared by his aggressive behavior. He believes that in order to establish firm power and show his manliness, he must be violent and abusive. However, this is not the case because he is degrading his stature through such actions. Rather, Okonkwo should support his family in a more compassionate way so that there would be a stronger bond between