Masculinity In Things Fall Apart

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My dad was always adamant on teaching my brother different things than me. I was taught how to cook while my brothers were taken fishing and put in football teams. Neither of my brothers liked football but were expected to go. In today’s media, masculinity is admired and strived for. In Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe shows us the downsides of masculinity with the characters Nwoye and Okonkwo. In the novel, the main character, Okonkwo, struggles with the fear of being feminine; His overcompensation of manliness becomes his downfall. His relationship with Nwoye suffers the most. Nwoye doesn’t want to be violent like his father; Rather than follow his father 's footsteps, Nwoye joins the foreign church and estranges his family. Both of these men face the pressure of masculinity in their society. Masculinity is meant to empower them but only stifles their self expression. Like my brothers, Okonkwo feels that he must be strong at all times, but he is a coward. When we were being introduced to the main character, Achebe writes, “Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and weakness.…show more content…
After Nwoye hears Okonkwo’s stories of war, Achebe writes “ Nwoye knew that it was right to be masculine and to be violent, but somehow he still preferred the stories that his mother used to tell. “ (58). Nwoye acknowledges that masculinity is encouraged in his society. He knows that his father wants him to be masculine whenever Okonkwo invites his to his obi, or hut. Nwoye knows that a son of the greatest fighter in Umuofia should be manly. So, he represses how he wants to be peaceful and listen to his mother’s stories. When the missionaries come to the town, at first he is skeptical of the new religion. But, the hymns of brotherhood drew him in. Nwoye respects the peaceful tale of a god who is all loving. So he joins the

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