Gender Roles In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Have you ever met someone that was very passionate about something in particular? It could be about anything, for example a sport or a religion. I am sure we have all met someone like this. In Things Fall Apart the character Okonkwo believed very strongly in gender roles. Okonkwo was very passionate about this and lived by these gender roles. Gender matters to Okonkwo because the Ibo tribe has strict gender roles, he wants to be seen as a superior leader in the tribe, and he cares about his reputation in the tribe. The tribe of Ibo is a very gender specified culture. The Ibo people have very strict rules for their women to follow, while the men are given more liberty. In this tribe the women and men each have their own designated jobs. Farming yams are a very important job in the tribe and this is also gendered. “His mother and sisters worked hard enough, but they grew women’s crops, like…show more content…
Okonkwo is very aware of his self-image and wants to be viewed as a hero in the Ibo tribe. If Okonkwo was to act feminine he would not be seen as a hero, but he would be insulted instead. Okonkwo’s father was a very lazy, weak man with no desires or ambitions. Okonkwo strived to be the opposite of who his father was and wants to have a totally different reputation than his father. ‘Even as a little boy he had resented his father’s failure and weakness, and even now he still remembered how he had suffered when a playmate had told him that his father was agbala. That was how Okonkwo first came to know that agbala was not only another name for a woman, it could also mean a man who had taken to title (Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. 2.12).” Women are considered weaker than men and to be called agbala was a major insult. Okonkwo is aware of what it means to be a man in the Ibo tribe, and even when he was little he knew he didn’t want to be associated with his father’s reputation and change what people think of
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