Discuss the role of women in the novel. How are feminine qualities of the Ibo culture important to its survival? Women: Weak Gender?!
In the novel “Things fall apart” by Chinua Achebe we are introduced to a different Africa than most of us know. We travel back in time and go to the pre-colonial Africa, more specifically Nigeria, to a village known as Umofia where the Ibo people live. The Ibo people form a very archaic and agriculture based society. Achebe introduces us to this new world that was seen by the Europeans as an unsociable and savage place and shows that the African culture was destroyed by the arrival of the Europeans in that land. But not only that, he brings up different points of social analysis like religion, the taboo “white people vs. black people” during the colonial period and the role of women within the Ibo Society. And that is exactly the point I will be approaching in this essay: the female presence in the society and their importance for/in the society.
All over the world and in different cultures and societies women are not treated as equals and throughout the years they earned their space and status in society with hard work. And it is no different in the novel “Things fall apart” by Chinua Achebe. Women, in the Ibo culture, are portrayed as having no power or social status but are still strong figures. This characterization is true to some extent, as throughout the novel the varied roles of women and their participation in the society are unraveled. In the novel, the readers follow the history of Okonkwo, some sort of hero in the village of Umofia. He is very strong in every sense of the word and his biggest characteristic is to never consent with weakness and failure. And the language used within his society makes the connection between ‘weakness’ and ‘women’. Okonkwo himself used to be called “Agbala” as a child, which in his society is meant for a man who has no titles or a “woman” (as for an insult) for it is a woman’s name. In...
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