Research Paper

Topics: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Igbo people Pages: 2 (564 words) Published: August 30, 2012
Balance of Male and Female Roles
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a novel about the colonization of an African culture. Also, the novel is about a tribesman named Okonkwo who lives in an African village called Umuofia which undergoes the drastic changes of colonization. In Things Fall Apart there is an overwhelming amount of masculinity in the culture of Umuofia and clan life in general. However, there is also a balance between masculinity and femininity in certain aspects of their culture and life. In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe the careful balance of masculine roles and feminine roles in society are shown by the point of view in the novel. There is most certainly a sense of an imperfect balance between the feminine roles and the masculine roles in Things Fall Apart which the point of view helps distinguish. In some ways the roles seem to be balanced, however, in certain events it is clear that feminine roles are considered to be of less importance. For example, Okonkwo and other tribesmen think it is weak and womanly to show any emotion other than anger and feel that the “only thing worth demonstrating was strength” (Achebe 28). The mostly omniscient point of view helps to identify certain aspects of both feminine and male roles in Umuofia’s culture. It delves both into the thoughts of the tribesmen and also, into the thoughts of the wives and women.

While the balance between male and female roles is imperfect in ways, there is also evidence that males could not survive without female roles in their lives and vice versa. Examples of this in Things Fall Apart are apparent when Okonkwo returns to his motherland as it seems “pre-colonial Igbo society, while largely patrilocal and patrilineal in its formation, held a special place for children of a matrilineage, called nwanwa, who, while members of their fatherland, or umunna, retained special rights and responsibilities towards their motherland”(Krishnan). Also, a female role in the tribe is...
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