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things fall apart

Satisfactory Essays
In the novel Things Fall Apart the Igbo society is dominated by gender roles. For example, a Husband can beat his wives for bringing food to them late. Women are discriminated against by society. The main character in Things Fall Apart, is Okonkwo who, has trouble balancing the feminine and masculine side in his life. Okonkwo is a rich, well known, and respected warrior of the Umuofia clan, a lower Nigerian tribe that is a big part of nine connected villages. He believes that only masculinity can hold the tribe together. Okonkwo then rejects everything that reminds him of being coward-like or feminine. Okonkwo's dislike to everything feminine came from his father which is why he has a very bad relationship with Unoka(his father). Throughout the whole novel, Okonkwo refers to his father, Unoka, as "agbala.” Agbala means woman in the language of the Igbo society. Okonkwo disliked Unoka because he was extremely artistic musically gifted, coward-like, and he was in debt to a lot of people in the town. Okonkwo believed that these were all characteristics that show the feminine side in a person. The hate for his father's weaknesses which is what led him to be cruel and abusive to the females he loves. Okonkwo has three wives. He is known for beating his wives brutally. He also has a twelve-year-old son named Nwoye whom he finds lazy. Okonkwo is afraid his son will turn out like his father Unoka which is a failure. So in an agreement with a nearby tribe, Umuofia wins a virgin and a fifteen-year-old boy. Okonkwo became the boy’s guardian, Ikemefuna, and saw the son he always wanted in him. Ikemefuna stayed with Okonkwo and his family for about three years. Nwoye made a connection with Ikemefuna too. Nwoye looked up to him as an older br... ... middle of paper ... ...ssibly many more ways than one which is violence. This novel also shows a lot of symbolism. In all the novel is about an African tribesman named Okonkwo who deals with a feminine father, lazy son, disobeying daughter, and what seems to be three unresponsive wives. He obviously really hates the feminine qualities in a man that is why he is so disrespectful to his father and is so hard on his son. If he was not trying to hide his feminine side I think he would not be so harsh and abusive towards his three wives. When Ikemefuna was welcomed into his house, Okonkwo showed no affection but then began to show a little bit for the young man. When he learned to show affection for someone who loves you then I believe life became easier on him. It was a good novel, a little confusing but, after reading multiple times I learned to understand why Okonkwo did the things he did.