Steps On A Path Of Self Destruction Essay

1528 Words Dec 18th, 2015 7 Pages
Steps on a Path of Self Destruction

Due to initially ingrained societal gender norms, men are often given the idea that masculinity is expressed through dominance, anger, violence, and the ability to provide, and that anything lying outside of that is unmasculine. This is especially relevant in Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart - set around 1900 - for the character of Okonkwo. Okonkwo’s infatuation with his understanding of what a perfect man of high status should be became the central cause of his self-inflicted demise.
Okonkwo’s obsession with masculinity has significant effects on his relationships with others, as well his attitude toward them. The first incident of these effects is Okonkwo’s feelings toward his father Unoka. Okonkwo resented his father for being improvident and lazy, for which the priestess Chika condemned Unoka and stated that he was “known in all the clan for the weakness of [his] machete and [his] hoe” (17). Unoka was also called “Agbala” for his “womanly” ways. Okonkwo grows up afraid to become like his father which contributes greatly to his aforementioned obsession. He goes on to resent his son Nwoye as well for being like Unoka in that he was not violent and preferred to keep peace. Nwoye enjoyed “women’s stories” more than his father’s tales of violence, and this bothered Okonkwo as it enforced the fear that Nwoye would grow up to be like his grandfather. Okonkwo beat him often for his feminine mannerisms. Nwoye later converts to…

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