The position and image of women in Things Fall Apart is an important topic. Unfortunately, people have not paid much attention to it beyond going along with the assumption that this novel presents woman as a sadly oppressed group with no power. This assumption may appear right, but there is much more to think about. Women in Things Fall Apart are the primary educators of children. Through storytelling and other forms of discourse, they educate and socialize the children, inspiring in them intellectual curiosity about social values, relationships, and the human condition.
We also see women in their role as educators of their children. The education process is done in part through the ritual of storytelling. The narrator describes, “Low voices, broken now and again by singing, reached Okonkwo from his wives’ huts as each woman and her children told folk stories” (Achebe 96). It is through storytelling that the children learn important lessons about the human condition, are taught the Ibo creation myths, such as the birds and the tortoise story, and master the art of communicating by retelling the stories themselves. As stated earlier in the novel, “Among Ibo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten” (Achebe 7). The Ibo women are playing a significant role in the facilitation of this learning, which is vital to their children’s ability to function within the Ibo cultur...
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...ve and study school in Conakry and later France. Even as an adult, he takes in consideration what his mother taught him as young boy, but he disregards her concern to pursue the educational opportunity offered him. Her fears are perhaps less about him leaving home, but more about him losing his connection to his heritage and not carrying on the traditions. His mother fears were actually correct because the western values of a solid education persuaded Laye’s mind and he finds himself caught between what may honor his ancestors and what may provide a more prosperous future for him. Woman in society are very protective of their children and the bond becomes stronger as they tend to grow. The role of a mother is very difficult, but due to Laye’s childhood and the influence of his mother, he was able to get out of current situation and make a better life for himself.
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