Women in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, portrays the Ibo society of Africa before the arrival of the white man. The novel depicts the Ibo culture and religion while Achebe weaves the Ibo language, myths and ideas into the English world and approach. It familiarizes the reader with the Ibo society as it also explains the role of women in pre-colonial Africa.
The role of women in the Ibo society:
Achebe shows how the patriarchal structure has been entrenched in the Ibo culture and only represents how it exists; people must evaluate the woman’s status themselves Women have little to no power-cannot stand against the husband’s mistreatment “And when [Ojiugo] returned he beat her very heavily. In his anger he had forgotten that it was the Week of Peace…It was unheard of to beat somebody during the sacred week” (Okonkwo severely beats his beats his wife due to a conflict of minor significance. (Not being home during dinner). The only reason he is punished is because it is the week of peace. No social power: “Without looking at the man Okonkwo had said: “This meeting is for men.” The man who had contradicted him had no titles. That is why he called him a woman” (26). Women are not allowed to do beyond what they are told. (Social repression) Patriarchy:
“’The world is large…I have even heard that in some tribes a man’s children belong to his wife and her family” (74). This statement clarifies the fact that the patriarchal system of Ibo society is ingrained in the lives and culture of the people so, being a “daily reality”, they don’t even question its existence or wonder if there is an alternative way of living. Rather, they take it as self-evident fact.(“These women never saw the inside of the hut. No women ever did…No woman ever asked questions about the most powerful and the most secret cult in the clan” (88). (
Emotional and spiritual strength:
Despite their lack of a social status and power, Chinua Achebe...
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