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Male Dominance

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  • September 30, 2010
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Male Dominance in Things Fall Apart
The Igbo society, described by author Chinua Achebe, has definitive and complex social systems, values and traditions. Achebe presents many customs that are frowned upon by our society, such as the abandonment of multiple birth babies, the sacrifice of human beings, and male a dominated society. The idea of a male dominated society might seem like a wrong thing to the readers, but it is an ordinary and accepted way of life in the tribes. On page 133, an old, wise man from the Mbanta tribe tells Okonkwo, “We all know that a man is the head of the family and his wives do his bidding”. It is clear the roles of a man and a woman in a tribe. The man must lead his family and be in control of his wife or wives while the women are to take care of the husband. While women accept this role and don’t protest (although there isn’t much they could do) they are sometimes taken advantage of by the men. If a woman does something out of line, the husband often shows his domination by beating his wife: “Okonkwo knew she was not speaking the truth. He walked back to his obi to await Ojiugo’s return. And when she returned he beat her very heavily” (29). A way a male, in the Igbo society, can show his domination, is after his wife or any woman for that matter, and has done something wrong he will beat her as a punishment. A woman’s job is strictly to serve the husband and take care of the children. Although men have power over women and are seen as the more important gender, women are pivotal to the literal survival and well-being of the community and societal norms.