Depiction Of Women In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

844 Words 4 Pages
Chinua Achebe is “widely considered to be the father of modern African literature” (Achebe, 1959) he has multiple literatures describing the societal features in Africa, and is best known for his trilogy including Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, and No Longer at Ease. Although Achebe adequately depicts the traditionally African society to the western world in these novels, he may not have depicted the entirety of the society accurately. Focusing on Things Fall Apart, this short review will focus on Achebe’s representation of women within the Igbo society. The depiction of women in “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe demonstrates women in a subservient role which is unlike a women’s traditional role in an African society (Merun, 1980). …show more content…
She has the right spirit,” (Achebe, 1959, p.66) and that his sons do not resemble him as much as Ezinma does (Achebe, 1959). Okonkwo’s desire of wishing Ezinma was a boy depicts the inferiority of females in Umuofia. Okonkwo holds his daughter at a higher standard than her brothers in strength, mindset, and connection with the spirit world. Okonkwo is unable to or take Ezinma under his wing in becoming a person of many titles because she is not a male and cannot do what a he himself does, or what males do in a patriarchal society based on her gender. Ezinma is a well-developed character throughout the novel, but is never seen as important in comparison to the other male characters like Ikemefuna and …show more content…
Achebe referred to males like yams, as they are considered to be the king of the crops and seen as having “physical strength, kingly attributes, [and] power,” (Saba & Shirin, 2015 p.73). When a man does not have these strong characteristics like a yam, they are then referred to as Agbala which means woman, or a man with no titles (Saba & Shirin, 2015). This reference demonstrates that it is not good to be seen as a woman in society, and to thrive one must have titles and characteristics unlike women. Another metaphoric example is when Okonkwo is exiled from Umuofia and is sent to his mother’s village in Mbanta (Achebe, 1959). A father is seen as distant, violent, war-like where a mother is seen as loving, comforting and always there to heal the wounds and that is why he is sent to his Mbanta to recover from his wrong-doings. Throughout Okonkwo’s time in exile, the readers are never told his mother’s name and when his mother is described, Achebe mentions her brother immediately (Saba & Shirin, 2015) therefore acknowledging that a woman is nothing without a male

Related Documents