Though womanhood as embodied by Ekwefi and Ezinma is the most complex and enlightening vision of the feminine in the book, it is not the first. The reader’s first exposure to the role of the female is through the view of Okonkwo. As a result of his experiences as a child, Okonkwo has developed a simplistic and emotionally charged view of women. This view was inspired, oddly, not by a woman but by a man – his father, Unoka. Unoka was not a successful member of the clan. He did not value hard work, did not participate in violence, and was content to live off of the backs of his fellow tribesmen. This led ...
... middle of paper ...
... through their portrayal, suggests that the author was much more attuned to the subtleties of the female identity than the surface of his novel implies.
Achebe, C. (1959). Things fall apart. New York: Anchor Books: Random House.
Hamilton, R. (2003). “Fragmenting culture, fragmenting lives: Chinua Achebe’s things fall apart.” Women in Literature: Reading through the Lens of Gender, J. Fisher and E. Silber, eds. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Onyemelukwe, I. (2004). “Achebe and african womanhood in Things Fall Apart.” Emerging Perspectives on Chinua Achebe, vol. 2, E. Emenyonu and I. Uko, eds. Trenton, NJ: African World Press.
Strong-Leek, L. (2001). "Reading as a woman: Chinua Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' and Feminist Criticism". African Studies Quarterly 5(2): 2. [online] URL: http://web.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v5/v5i2a2.htm
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “Tragedy arouses not only pity but also fear…” Things Fall Apart doesn’t tell you what “has” happened it shows you what is going to happen. In Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe is dramatizing what may happen and what was happening. The District commissioner suggested a book title at the end of the book. I think the book title’s main purpose was to suggest what may happen.”…The Pacification of the Lower Niger Tribes.” A tragedy has a protagonist, the protagonist is someone who is renowned or prosperous, and has a change of fortune from good to bad or vice versa.... [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]
1011 words (2.9 pages)
- Written by Chinua Achebe, “Things Fall Apart” describes European imperialism through the eyes of the Nigerian tribesmen as they interact with European colonists. What makes this piece of literature valuable is not the fact that it criticizes imperialism; it is the way in which it criticizes imperialism. Achebe portrays the African tribes as having very rich civilized and social cultures, not as being animalistic savages, which other literatures would lead one to believe. Because of this, the reader is able to connect with the mindset of an African native.... [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]
1431 words (4.1 pages)
- Notion of Balance in Things Fall Apart by Achebe The notion of balance in Achebe's novel is an important theme throughout the book. Beginning with the excerpt from Yeats's poem, "The Second Coming," the concept of balance is stressed as important, for without balance, order is lost. In the novel, there are many systems of balance which the Ibo culture seems to depend upon. It is when these systems are upset that "things fall apart." Okonkwo, the Ibo religion, and ultimately, the Ibos' autonomy were brought to their demise by an extreme imbalance between their male and female aspects.... [tags: Achebe Things Fall Apart Essays]
1625 words (4.6 pages)
- This paper will look at the contradictions in the work of Chinua Achebe in relation to his placement of woman and femininity. Kristen Holst Petersen states that ‘the African discussion is between feminist emancipation versus the fight against neo-colonialism, particularly in its cultural aspect...which comes first, the fight for female equality or the fight against Western cultural imperialism’. This paper will attempt to highlight these contradictions in relation to Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.... [tags: Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart Essays]
1875 words (5.4 pages)
- ... Okonkwo tells his first wife to look after him. She asks if the boy will be staying with them for a long time. Okonkwo irately replies, "Do what you are told, woman" and she "asked no more questions". This sort of contempt shades the depiction of life as woman in Igbo society. Further supporting the idea of the inferior female, the tribe permits abuse of women. Okonkwo beats his youngest wife, Ekwefi, because she goes out to get her hair plaited and does not return in time to cook the afternoon meal.... [tags: Things Fall Apart, writing expertise]
909 words (2.6 pages)
- Title Analysis of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart I believe that the title Things Fall Apart refers to the fact that without proper balance, things do fall apart. The notion of balance in the novel is an important theme throughout the book. Beginning with the excerpt from Yeats' poem, The Second Coming, the concept of balance is stressed as important; for without balance, order is lost. In the novel, there is a system of balance, which the Ibo culture seems to depend upon.... [tags: Papers Achebe Things Fall Apart Essays]
1150 words (3.3 pages)
- Masculinity vs. Femininity in Things Fall Apart If viewed on the surface the story line of Things Fall Apart is a tragedy, but when viewed in a wider perspective it is a story of deeper conflict. The main issue is that the British have come to establish a mission and receive converts. Less evident is the conflict this intrusion inserts between the Ibo and British. The underlying issue is masculinity versus femininity. By this I mean to say that the Ibo are an agrarian people who are a patriarchal and see any sign of weakness as being less than desirable.... [tags: Things Fall Apart]
1274 words (3.6 pages)
- Chinua Achebe chose to write his novels in English to reveal a deep response of his people to colonisation and to make that response understood to people all over the world. Things Fall Apart was written in English to teach people worldwide of the struggles he faced and the people of Nigeria faced growing up. Many authors and critics have written about Achebe’s ‘Things fall apart’ adding their valued opinion on what he was trying to say and his decision to write in English. In the following essay I will be discussing why Achebe wrote the novel Things Fall apart in English and what messages he was trying to reveal, through the help of critics and secondary sources.... [tags: nigeria, struggles]
1317 words (3.8 pages)
- In Things Fall Apart, Achebe explains the pre-colonial African woman’s role in Ibo society. He presents women as a sadly oppressed group with no power. Even in these circumstances, women play the most important role of all. The relationship between males and females in this novel is masculine-based. Men with no title are compared to being a woman (representing weakness) and given no respect. Men are expected to control and rule their women and children. Those that cannot accomplish this are not considered a man.... [tags: character and literary analysis]
1161 words (3.3 pages)
- ... Gender equality is equal valuing of the different roles assumed by men and women.(Okokwo 5579) This demonstrates that women are treated differently from men, and expected to do feminine jobs, and that they are not valued the same.. An example is when Ezinma asked her father if he needed a chair, but her father said “No, that’s a boy’s job.”(Achebe 60) Even though Ezinma is Okonkwo’s favourite daughter, Okonkwo still has to follow the male and female action depicted by the Ibo culture. As Ejike A.... [tags: gender roles, crimes, Okonkwo]
603 words (1.7 pages)