Things Fall Apart Gender Roles

Words: 538
Pages: 3

“Things Fall Apart” is a novel by Chinua Achebe, written in 1958 but set in the late 19th century among the Igbo people of modern Nigeria. Achebe tells the story of a traditional tribesmen who clashes with British imperialist in Africa. The book centers on different themes such as religion, generational conflict, and Traditions. However, this essay will focus on the theme of Gender roles. In the novel, gender roles greatly impact the entire village. Although, many will argue that it is traditions, customs or religion that affects the village, it is no doubt that gender roles create an inner struggle of Igbo traditional expectations and a character’s personal desires. The traditional roles of women include growing crops, taking care of children and the hens. On the other hand, men’s …show more content…
His father was seen as a disappointment in the village that he was even named agbala which means woman or a man with no title. Also, men had to fulfil their roles by earning respect and success by doing manly things. For instance, Okonkwo had to battle The Cat before he earned such respect in the village. For this reason, most of his actions in the novel was impacted by his fear that people might think of him as weak and womanly, if he does not prove otherwise. For example, when Ikemefuna is sentenced to death, rather than letting the will of the gods be carried out, he feels the need to prove his is strong and masculine and kills the boy.
Secondly, gender roles are seen in the novel where the author speaks about Okonkwo’s life growing up.
“His mother and sisters have worked hard enough, but they grew women’s crop, like coco-yams, beans, and cassava. Yam, the king of crops, was a man’s crop” (Achebe, 28).
This quote shows that even the crops in Igbo society is gender specific. The men grew the bigger crops like coco-yam and cassava, while the women were not capable of growing such big