How Does Okonkwo Use Gender In Things Fall Apart

Improved Essays
I have chosen to write about Okonkwo and why gender mattered to him. Okonkwo is portrayed as a

very masculine man who has much faith in the quality of ‘manliness’. Gender is important to the character

of Okonkwo because he uses women to make them feel smaller, so him and men appear stronger.

Him and many men use the term women as an insult as a term for weakness. Okonkwo needs gender

so he can feel masculine.

The majority of the time Okonkwo wives were scared of him . It says that “Okonkwo ruled his

household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery

temper …” ( Achebe, Chinua ; ch 2). Having this gender role that women were weak and men were

strong surely made Okonkwo feel powerful. Him and his men would treat women as their servants and
…show more content…
You get to see an example of that in Things Fall Apart chapter two , when Okonkwo

brought a young virgin girl with a fifteen year old boy and it was immediately decided she would go

replace Ogbuefi’s murdered wife. As for the boy no one was in a hurry to decide his fate. You can see

the discrimination that went on between gender and how Okonkwo used it to his power.

There was another term for woman, it was agabala. Agabala did not just stand for women it also

meant a man with no title , in chapter two of things fall apart by Chinua Achebe it talks about Okonkwo

relating that term to his father. Okonkwo hated everything his father had loved and it says how one of the

things would be gentleness. Maybe thats why he thought woman as weak. He often used woman as a

term. For example, when he saw laziness in his son he refereed to him as woman like and would beat him in a form to correct him. On the other hand with his daughter Enzima he sees more strength in her and

believes she would be happier a boy and should've been born a boy. Okonkwo might be hurt inside by his

father but his ego keeps it locked

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