Things Fall Apart Gender Roles Essay

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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. Throughout this essay I will be explaining the gender roles, comparing them and how they affect the Umuofian society.
In the Umuofian society, Women and men have different roles and expectations to live up to, men were believed to be superior and that women were inferior. One of the tasks that women were burdened with was dinner. They were expected to prepare dinner for their family in the Umuofia tradition. Furthermore, when a man is married to many wives each one of them is required to brings a dish and shares it with the whole family. When a woman fails to do so she is subject to negative treatment form her husband and sometime even beaten. For example, one of Okonkwo’s wives, Ojiugo went to visit her
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Marriage process in the Umuofian was different from todays ways. Back then in Nigeria the man and his family go and choose the bride. The bride had to agree and she had very little to say on who she gets to marry. Surprisingly gender roles and some customs were bent in Things Fall Apart. For example, when Ekwefi first fell in love with Okonkwo after his wrestling match. He didn’t marry her because he didn’t have money to pay for he dowry, instead a few years later Ekwefi escaped from her husband and got married to Okonkwo. This is very rare that something like this happens in the Umuofian society. It shows that there is courage and that even in the toughest situation rules can be

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