Things Fall Apart : Then And Now

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Things Fall Apart: Then and Now Chinua Archebe’s book Things Fall Apart was written about the Igbo people -- people living in southeastern Nigeria who speak Igbo, also known as Ibo people (, 2015). The majority of the story centers on an African tribe called Umuofia, on a man named Okonkwo, and reveals a look into the trials and tribulations in the life of an African tribe. Okonkwo was a large man with a soft heart, but lived his life with a heavy hand. His masculine and violent personality was primarily the result of his culture and from his father; more accurately, how to not be his father. Okonkwo thought that his father was weak and lazy, because of this, Okonkwo lived his entire life in constant fear, a fear of failure and a fear of looking weak; because of this fear he never showed gentle and loving emotions to the ones he loved. Although this story mainly focuses on one man, a long time ago, in an African community, the purpose of this essay is to take a small tour in history to explore how Okonkwo, his wives, and his tribe might have fared in modern day Nigeria. Treatment of Igbo’s Women Okonkwo’s actions were often the result of his desire to not appear weak (like his own perception of his father). From the relationships he had with his wives and children, how he wanted to be perceived amongst the villagers as strong and warrior like, and his ultimate desire to be a man of many titles, drove Okonkwo to rule his house with iron fists. Okonkwo had three wives; each wife lived in a separate hut of their own with her children, Okonkwo would visit a different wife each night, and a hut of his own for his solitude. Okonkwo controlled his wives and children through anger and regular beatings. There are... ... middle of paper ... with male agencies on all local matters, including those that previously belonged to the female domain” (p. 88). The Igbo women had more political power within their communities prior to the colonial days which lasted for many years. Even as late as 1976 “there were no Igbo women in any of the federal positions” (Chuku, 2009, p. 95). However, the political climate for women has changed somewhat. In 1995, the federal government of Nigeria created a Ministry of Women’s Affairs in an effort to advance the conditions for Nigerian Woman (Chuku, 2009, p. 100). However, ultimately. the Nigerian political parties continue to “privileged men more than women” (Chuku, 2009, p. 100). Unfortunately, history has not provided Igbo women a lot of power within their communities; it seems they had more political clout in pre-colonial days than any other time in history since.

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