Balance In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Throughout Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, the authors' claim of "balance" within the Igbo tribe is invalid. Although one may view that women and men existing in this society as balanced due to the fact that both the men and women have a particular part in the general public; The men hunt for dinner, while the ladies prepare the meals and care after the kids. However, through close reading, the society is actually imbalance. While the women are living oppressed, the men are holding positions of high power. The women in the tribe not only being socially oppressed by men of high authority, but also physically and emotionally abused by men in their home who likewise holds power. Achebe created a patriarchy society where women's' freedom is…show more content…
While in the tribe, typical gender roles are provoked, the story also shows examples of typical gender stereotypes. It is expected of men to act emotionless and barbaric, while the women are expected to be nurturing and compassionate. This is shown frequently in the book, especially within Okonkwo and Enzima relationship. Enzima is Okonkwo's favorite child. She embodies all the attributes Okonkwo endorses. Nonetheless, he repeatedly wishes she was a boy (Achebe 56) in order to fit their patriarchy gender role. Men in the Igbo tribe role are scrutinize by their masculinity, and if you do not exhibit a barbaric persona, you are categorized weak like a girl. For instance, after Okonkwo had murdered Ikemefuna, he was going through a period of depression, asking himself "When did I become a shivering old women" (Achebe 56) This demonstrates the gender stereotype in the Igbo society as if women were the only one allowed to empathize or have feelings. Also, gender roles in the Igbo tribe hinders men from having their own identity. "That was the kind of story that Nwoye loved. But he knew that they were for foolish women and children…[that he] no longer cared for women's stories" (Achebe 46,47). Nwoyes' identity was subjected to gender stereotype that he feels like he has to play a role in order to satisfy his
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