Sexism In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Words: 939
Pages: 4

Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, is about the Ibo tribe and how the colonists eventually come along and destroy their culture. Achebe’s protagonist, Okonkwo, is a male chauvinist who detests the weak and secretly fears change. Throughout this book, one also learns that women in this time and place were seen as inferior to men and were labeled by various stereotypes. The women in this book are led to believe that they are only good for housework and that they have no voice, especially if they are using it to speak out against a man. While the Ibo did allow women some privileges, such as leaving their husbands if they were abused, they were still severely restrained, similar to women during the women’s suffrage era. Women during this …show more content…
Most likely, they would be appalled by the treatment of women in the book and their lack of freedom. For example, they would have a strong negative reaction to the following quote “Okonkwo’s second wife had merely cut a few leaves off it… Okonkwo gave her a sound beating… the wife who had just been beaten murmured something about guns that never shot… Okonkwo heard it… ran out again and aimed at her,” (Achebe 39). The women would, more than likely, be shocked by Okonkwo’s hostile behavior towards his wife, not to mention the fact that Okonkwo was not punished for his actions.They would disagree with the Ibo’s way of handling these types of situations, after all, they really only punish a man whenever their mistakes interfere with a sacred tradition, or celebration, such as in this quote where it is proven that Okonkwo does not receive a punishment “ In spite of this incident the New Yam Festival was celebrated with great joy in Okonkwo’s household” (Achebe 39). This is an example of how lenient the Ibo tribe can be when it comes to punishing a man to doing harm to a woman, as previously