Okonkwo is a respected and influential leader within the Igbo community of Umuofia in eastern Nigeria.
In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, women of the Ibo tribe are terribly mistreated, and viewed as weak and receive little or no respect outside of their role as a mother.
Tradition dictates their role in life. These women are courageous and obedient.
These women are nurturers above all and they are anything but weak. In the novel Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo has several wives. He orders them around like dogs. They are never to question what they are instructed to do; they are expected to be obedient.
We clearly see this early in the story, when Okonkwo brings Ikemefuna into his home. Okonkwo tells his senior wife that Ikemefuna belongs to the tribe and that she is expected to look after him. She in turn asks him if he will be staying with them for a long period of time.
This sends Okonkwo into a fury. He snaps at her in a very degrading manner, "Do what you are told woman.
When did you become one of the ndichie meaning elders of Umuofia? Later in the story we see this woman try to comfort Ikemefuna. She "mothers" him as if he is one of her own children. She tries to put him at ease and can almost instinctively feel how much he misses his own mother.
In keeping with the Ibo view of female nature, the tribe allows wife beating. Okonkwo beats his youngest wife one-day because she was visiting with a friend and did not get home in time to prepare a meal for him. Another one of his wives tries to cover for her when she is questioned as to whether or not the youngest wife has fed the children before she left.
Certainly she does this in effort to protect the youngest wife, knowing full well what she faced.
Okonkwo does not let them down, he beats his youngest wife severely until he is satisfied. Even in spite of pleas from his other wives reminding him that it is forbidden to beat your wife during the Week of Peace.
Okonkwo will face consequences, not for beating another human being, but only because of his timing. He beats his second wife when she refers to him as one of those "guns that never shot".
When a severe case of wife beating comes before the egwugwu, he finds in favor of the wife, but at the end of the trial a man wonders "why such a trifle should come before the egwugwu" pg. The husband considers his wife as a property. He either wants his wife back or his bride price.
The omniscient narrator acknowledges a near-invisibility of women in Things Fall Apart. Describing a communal ceremony, he confesses, "It was clear from the way the crowd stood that the ceremony was for men.
There were many women, but they looked on from the fringe like outsiders" pg. They are not invited to stay when men are engaged in any discussion; they are not included in council of war; they do not form part of the masquerades representing the judiciary and ancestral spirits.
Okonkwo views women to be weak and foolish. He has a different expectation for men and women. This can be seen clearly by the way that he raises his children.
He tries his best to train Nwoye to be strong and brave while he feels sorry that Ezinma is a girl. Okonkwo knows that "Ezinma has the right spirit", but he does not try to make her to be brave or strong.- Things Fall Apart - White Missionaries Caused Umofia to Fall Apart Faith has always been a guiding force in man's life.
Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart is a story that describes the effects of a new Christian religion in a tribal village of Africa. Be Book-Smarter. SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble. Visit tranceformingnlp.com to buy and rent textbooks, and check out our award-winning tablets and eReaders, including NOOK Tablet 7” .
- Things Fall Apart - White Missionaries Caused Umofia to Fall Apart Faith has always been a guiding force in man's life.
Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart is a story that describes the effects of a new Christian religion in a tribal village of Africa. Essay on Gender Roles in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Words 10 Pages Upon an initial reading of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, it is easy to blame the demise of Okonkwo’s life and of the Umofia community on the imperialistic invasions of the white men.
- The Tragedy of Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe's book Things Fall Apart is a very tragic novel. There was an unhappy ending because Okonkwo died and the Umofian culture broke down and Okonkwo couldn't do anything about it.
Mar 12, · [In the following essay, Nnoromele addresses the question of why the character Okonkwo fails at the end of Things Fall Apart and asserts that Achebe acted as a neutral narrator throughout the novel.