Going against customs and traditions you’ve known your whole life isn’t easy. In Things Fall Apart ,by Chinua Achebe, Ezinma breaks tradition both generationally and in gender roles, she is a symbol for how tradition changes in Umuofia and in her family. Ezinma follows a journey throughout the book that demonstrates tradition on a larger scale in the community and in her personal life. One of the ways Ezinma shows traditional change is generationally. When Ezinma is helping her mother with chores Ezinma calls her mother and says, “‘Ekwefi, is it true that when people are grown up, fire does not burn them?’Ezinma, unlike most children, called her mother by her name” (40). This is very unusual considering that a child’s parent is supposed …show more content…
When Okonkwo is talking about Ezinma’s behavior he says, “If Ezinma had been a boy I would have been happier. She has the right spirit” (66). Even her parents noticed that she wasn’t a typical Umuofia girl and she possesses masculine qualities. When Ezinma is doing chores for the house she asks, “‘Can I bring your chair for you?’ ‘No, that is a boy's job.’ Okonkwo was specially fond of Ezinma” (44). Ezinma is told by her father to leave the hard work for the boys even though she wants to do it. Ezinma wants Okonkwo to like her and she wants to impress him by being manly because Okonkwo values manliness. Okonkwo believes that Ezinma’s willingness to do so much for her father is very admirable and he likes Ezinma the most out of all of his children. When Okonkwo is talking about how much he likes Ezinma he says,”He never stopped regretting that Ezinma was a girl. Of all his children she alone understood his every mood” (173) Okonkwo stated that he wishes she was a boy because she would be a better boy than her brothers are. Even though Okonkwo values masculinity and strength and thinks that his son’s should display those qualities, he appreciates Ezinma because she shows proof of showing some of these qualities. This is unusual because in the Igbo society men are superior to women and should be the mother’s favorite and not the
This shows that Okonkwo really cares about Enzima -This surprised me because I wouldn’t think helping a women feel better is a masculine thing to do according to his previous actions of his domination over women and beating them. Pg 80- Ekwefi’s nine children have died and they think they have been cursed with ogbanje -Umuofia believes that they are “wicked” but will still do anything to help keep Enzima
Okonkwo constantly struggled to create the same masculine character in Nwoye that he made for himself and constantly found a reflection of his effeminate father, Unoka, in Nwoye. Chapter two describes the relationship between Okonkwo and Nwoye in Nwoye’s youth. “Okonkwo’s first son, Nwoye, was then twelve years old but was already causing his father great anxiety for his incipient laziness... He sought to correct him by constant nagging and beating” (13-14). Okonkwo’s efforts to change Nwoye’s resemblance of Unoka were causing their relationship to be pushed apart because of Okonkwo’s violence and Nwoye’s resistance.
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is a book based up on pre-colonial Nigeria back in the 1890s and it focuses on on traditional society’s and colonialism. The author presents the book Things Fall Apart through the eyes of the main character Okonkwo who was a respected elder in the village. Women in the book were all housewives and they were shown as weak, and as second class citizens of the Umuofian society. The roles of women in the Umuofia society is presented through several events that happened in in the village of Umuofia.
He shows that he was extremely pleased with his daughter, Ezinma, several times throughout the novel. He thinks a lot of the young lady… much more than he does his sons, which he labels as disappointments. Sometimes a rare, affectionate side of him even shines through when he is addressing Ezinma. Okonkwo is proud of his daughter and who she is becoming, for he even says, “If Ezinma had been a boy I would have been happier. She has the right spirit”(50).
Ezinma is Okonkwo 's oldest daughter and his favorite daughter. She is the one person he drops his hard, tough exterior, and the only person to “understand” her father. Even though he loves his daughter deeply that doesn 't stop him from talking about how much he wishes she was a boy instead of a girl. He tells his sons story of how he killed in battles, in gruesome details how he drunk from their heads.
China Achebe demonstrates the disrespect the Ibo men had for woman in Things Fall Apart by depicting verbal and physical abuse within the community. The men have control over a woman through power of authority. This physical and verbal abuse lets the men of the society feel empowerment over the woman. “ Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper” Achebe 12.
Fear is the core cause of the dramatic shift of lifestyle for both Okonkwo and Nwoye. Through the management of reputation and the avoidance of their father’s likeness, Okonkwo and Nwoye built new lives for themselves. Okonkwo sought power and authority to prove his masculinity and make up for Unoka’s reputation as a weak man. He did this to the point where manliness became his character. Fearlessness and violence were masculine qualities that in Igbo culture signifies strength and influence.
Okonkwo and Ezinma, an unexpressed love. In his novel, ‘Things Fall Apart’, Achebe presents to the reader, a story based around the village of Umuofia. Through his narration which is close to an oral tradition, we discover the culture and commodities of that village as well as of some surrounding villages. Superstitions, festivals and traditions, everything is vividly described.
In the Ibo hierarchal society, women are the subject of unequal treatment and patronization. They are considered weak and are not given any power. As the novel, Things Fall Apart unravels, the author, Chinua Achebe reveals the distinct attributes of femininity. Feminine traits are also viewed with disdain in Umuofian society, especially by the protagonist of the novel, Okonkwo. His past experiences shape his disposition and give rise to his stereotypical mentality; however, several events contradict the prevalent perspective of women, leading to Okonkwo facing conflicts within himself.
Many aspects of their lives have men as the prominent heads of their households, but women also have some importance in many of the concepts. In the novel Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe presents the idea of how Igbo culture and religion define the roles for each gender and examines how unequal roles in society can lead to conflicts between each gender in order to illustrate how they can lead to permanently damaged relationships. The main driving forces behind gender role beliefs in Things Fall Apart are a result of the ideologies set by the Ibo people. Their culture dictated men as stronger people who did more work, while women were dictated as individuals who were weak and inferior because they did household activities.
For women in this clan, Umuofia, there are situations and conflicts that characterize women as the weaker of the sexes. Because the tribe places such high standards on the men and other people in Umuofia, the women are placed with much lower standards on them. One example that demonstrates this is when Okonkwo shows a fourteen-year-old child, Ikemefuna, the basis of their beliefs and the foundations of what their culture is about. Okonkwo tells Ikemefuna about Okonkwo’s father and how his lack of physical confrontations had brought shame and weakness to him and his family. “...
TFA Essay Our lives are centered around our culture and beliefs, we are influenced by our peers about our beliefs to the point where it may cause things to fall apart, with many up and down situations. In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, we learn about an Ibo culture that believe in male masculinity and dominance, expected from a very young age for boys to be very masculine and rule over women.
According to Okonkwo’s tribe, the Igbo, masculinity is being strong, aggressive, and nourishing. Femininity is being weak, loving, compassionate, and devotional. Achebe highlights the definitions of masculinity and femininity to show that Okonkwo’s hypermasculinity causes his downfall. Okonkwo is trying to act too masculine and by completely rejecting feminine qualities, he sets up his destiny to be his downfall. The first instance in which things fall apart for Okonkwo is when a tribute from another village has to stay with Okonkwo for three years.