Raisin in the Sun: Gender Roles Defied Following the event of World War Two, America during the 1950s was an era of economic prosperity. Male soldiers had just returned home from war to see America “at the summit of the world”(Churchill). Many Americans were confident that the future held nothing other than peace and prosperity, so they decided to start families. However, the 1950s was also a time of radical changes. Because most of the men in the family had departed to fight in the war, women were left at home to do the housework.
At the start of the book, the family was normally one man who had many wives. He would have many children with each wife. The men ran the village while the women were expected to cook, clean, and take care of the children. For example, when Effia asked Abeeku a simple question her parents gave her a sharp look to tell her she should not have done that (8). As the book goes on and the tribes start to trade with the British, the women start marrying the white men from the castle.
Gender roles play an important role in A Raisin in the Sun. During the time A Raisin in the Sun was written the idea of set in stone positions in a household and society were common. Women were supposed to do house jobs, keep their mouths shut, and support their husbands’ decisions and men were seen as the headman or boss. A Raisin in the Sun shows readers a window into the world where those gender roles have a twist on them. Women in the time of A Raisin in the Sun were supposed to be subservient to men.
Although Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart shows traces of gender equality among the Igbo, the European audience views the culture as sexist. In Things Fall Apart sexism is shown in many ways like the abuse of women, social expectations and the power of males. The Igbo people don 't look at women the same way as Europeans do. Europeans treat women with respect and dignity while The Igbo dismiss the importances of
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.
Enraged, Chielo shouts and threatens Okonkwo: “Beware, Okonkwo!” (Achebe, 101). It is bizarre to see a woman commanding Okonkwo, but it’s perplexing to see Okonkwo pleading and being threatened by a woman. At this point in time, Okonkwo does not dare question or argue with Chielo, as he knows the consequences of disobeying the Oracle. There is some degree of appreciation for women in Umuofia; however, it is limited to priestesses and
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.
Although the idea of women have changed drastically throughout American society, there are other parts of the world where their expectations about women are different than our society. In our society women are encouraged to be our own leaders and do what we want, instead of being told what to do and not have a say in the matter. In the novel Things Fall Apart, women are expected to stay at home, educate the children, cook the meals for the men, and do the work of the house. Throughout the novel, there are several instances where women are characterized as the weaker sex, the role of playing a submissive wife over a man, and the men 's point of view of the women. This is a reason as to why the idea of women in Umuofia needs to change for the better.
The novel “things fall apart” is about the fatal demise of Okonkwo and the igbo culture of Umuofia. Okonkwo is well known and respected leader in his community, who is successful in everything he does, such as wrestling and farming. He is quick with his hands and takes pride in his accomplishments. Okonkwo’s family relationship makes him a sympathetic character because of his support and an unsympathetic character because of his cruelty. In many ways Okonkwo showed that he had no sympathy for others , However at times he could be sympathetic.
In the villages of Umuofia, men are seen as more imperious and well respected while females are portrayed as weak. For example, it was mentioned that “his mothers and sisters worked hard enough but they grew women’s crops like coco-yams, beans and cassava. Yam, the king of crops, was a man’s crop.” (Achebe 17).
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.
The tripartite novel “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, published in 1958 focuses on the changes taking place in Nigeria, as a result of colonization during the 20th century. Chinua Achebe’s pragmatics when writing the novel focused on changing the perspective of Western readers with regard to African society. He mainly wanted to falsify the assertions in books such as “Heart of Darkness” which he claimed gave people of African descent a dull personality. Social status is one of the novels’ main themes. Chinua Achebe successfully incorporates the importance of social status, giving readers the impression that for the Ibo society, social structure consists mainly of a hierarchy of both skill and strength.
Okonkwo was a big supporter of physical and verbal abuse in his home, especially towards his wives and Nwoye. To Okonkwo, physical abuse was another language. This is how he spoke, and punished, on the occasion of the abuse, and how he had handled the situation. Women was treated poorly in Umuofia because men believe that they were weak and in inadequate. “ Even as a little boy Okonkwo had represented 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.
The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe talks about the Igbo, an indigenous Nigerian people, and about a culture on the brink of change. Indeed, through the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo leader in the fictional Nigerian village of Umuofia, Achebe describes how the prospect and reality of change affect different characters. In the Igbo culture the family unit plays a fundamental role and the members of a family highly value the mutual respect for each other, a reverence for all past fathers, and unity. The father is considered not only as the head of the family and its provider, but the defender of its honor as well as the teacher of his sons.