Things Fall Apart: Okonkwo in the Male Dominant Igbo Society

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The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa, they emphasize on personal achievements, and taking titles which means leadership and respect (Ohadike Don C., p. xxvi-xxvii). In the book Things Fall Apart, the main character, Okonkwo is affected by the influences of the Igbo society and vows to become a man of the highest title and to gain respect from all the lands. Okonkwo and his family live in male dominant society where men are superior to women, therefore, Okonkwo thinks he is the owner of his household, and constantly beats his three wives and children. Okonkwo develops arrogant characteristics and a fear of being weak from the traditions of the society, and throughout the book he puts up a hard exterior and beats his son Nwoye, because he thinks Nwoye is lazy and weak. In the end, Nwoye betrays Okonkwo because of his father’s cruel attitudes towards him and the fact that his father murders his adopted brother, Ikemefuna. Due to the influences of the Igbo society, Okonkwo is afraid of being a man without a title and being buried without dignity, so he strives all his life to achieve his dream, this is the cause of his impatient, arrogant characteristics and inner “fear” which eventually leads to his self-destruction. The influence of the Igbo society develops an inner “fear” and traits among the villagers, especially on men, causing negative impacts on their lives. The main character, Okonkwo is never close to his three wives or children because of the male dominant society he lives. In the Igbo society, men are superior to women because they are considered as the brave warriors of the land; they go to wars and can have more than one wife. Their titles, homes, and wives are all symbols of wealth (Onyemae... ... middle of paper ... ...At the end, Okonkwo does not adapt to the changes of his village because of his characteristics and inner ‘fear” and it results in his self-destruction. The influence of the Igbo society develops an inner “fear” and features among the villagers, especially on men, causing negative impacts on their lives. The main character, Okonkwo lives in a male dominant society where men are pressured to be strong and powerful, he beats his wives and children because of his inner “fear” and harsh characteristics which are influenced by the Igbo society. Okonkwo is cruel to his son and kills Ikemefuna because of his pride and fears of being weak. His son Nwoye betrays him and he is forever cursed with the blood stain of Ikemefuna on his hands. In the end, Okonkwo does not adapt to the changes of his village because of his characteristics and it results in his self-destruction.
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