Comparison Of Masculinity In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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Research Paper
Chinua Achebe was born on November 16, 1930. He was born in Eastern Nigeria by to two Igbo parents, Isiah Okafor Achebe and Janet Achebe. Both his parents were Christians and this led the christening of their son Chinua Albert Chinualamogu. His father was a catechist for the Church Missionary Society, and both his parents traveled to Eastern Nigeria as evangelists before settling in a small town called Ogidi. This was his father’s ancestral Igbo village 5 years before the birth of Chinua Achebe. While growing up in Ogidi, Chinua Achebe had contact with both Christianity and Igbo religious beliefs and customs, which made him averse in writing about the cultures and life of the Igbo people in Nigeria.
Chinua Achebe is one the
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Okonkwo grew up to be a great farmer and warrior who seemed to only have one fear which was failure which he had so much despised his father for “…But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fearsome of failure and weakness”(Achebe p.10). He did not tolerate any sign of laziness from his wives or any of his children especially his oldest son called Nwoye “Okonkwo ruled his house with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of fiery temper…” (Achebe p.9). Anytime he saw such signs he would either beat them or raise his voice so loud that he would lose his train of thought. He did things this way in order to prevent Nwoye from being anything like his lazy grand-father Unoka “...he was lazy and improvident and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow…Unoka was of course a debtor, and he owed every neighbor some money ”(Achebe p.4) but more like himself strong and never show signs of weakness. Okonkwo’s idea of manliness rarely relies on not showing any other emotion other than …show more content…
For this reason he is seen beating his wives and children frequently and even threatening to kill them. He almost kills his youngest wife Ojiugo with his hunting gun during the sacred week when she left the house without cooking to make her hair and Okonkwo complained she made fun about him not being a good hunter “Unfortunately Okonkwo heard it...he ran out again and aimed at her as she clambered over the dwarf wall of the barn. He pressed the trigger and there was a loud report… ” (Achebe p.25). While overseeing all Okonkwo’s actions one can notice that he does not think beforehand and just acts on impulse not to appear weak and show to his masculinity. The embarrassment of Unoka his lazy father drove him to success but in doing so Okonkwo becomes an extremist and this leads to his flaws and led to him being forced to exile after killing Obierika’s son during Maduka’s burial which was a crime but was considered a female crime “The drums and dancing began again and reached fever-heat…Guns fired the last salute and the cannon rent the sky…All was silent. In the center of the crowd a boy lay in the pool of blood…. Okonkwo’s gun had exploded and a piece of iron had pierced the boy’s heart.” He was exiled for 7 years because it was a female crime he had committed accidentally but if he had done it on purpose the people of Umuofia would have killed him no matter his social

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