Gender Roles In Things Fall Apart English Essay

412 words - 2 pages

In “Things Fall Apart”, by China Achebe, gender roles are a heavily reoccurring theme

throughout the book. Men are the head of the household and work for their family. Women stay

home to cook, clean, and take care of the children. Sons are held in a higher regard to daughters.

Men are expected to be manly, strong, and fearless. While women are not expected of such

because they are considered less than.

First lets look deeper into gender roles in the household. For starters, Polygamy is present

but only men can have several wives while women can only have one husband.An example of

this is ”Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest,

lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper […] “(2.12). Within that Okonkwo associates

masculinity with aggression and feels that anger is the only emotion that is respectable. For

example, he frequently beats his wives, even threatening to kill time and time again. Women are

really only valued at all for their ability to bear children.

Next we will look at gender roles relating to traditional customs. Even the crops are

gendered (Okhamafe 127). Coco-yams, beans, and cassava were “female crops” (Achebe 23).

While the...

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