Things Fall Apart: Okonkwo in the Male Dominant Igbo Society Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1432 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa, they emphasize on personal achievements, and taking titles which means leadership and respect (Ohadike Don C., p. xxvi-xxvii). In the book Things Fall Apart, the main character, Okonkwo is affected by the influences of the Igbo society and vows to become a man of the highest title and to gain respect from all the lands. Okonkwo and his family live in male dominant society where men are superior to women, therefore, Okonkwo thinks he is the owner of his household, and constantly beats his three wives and children. Okonkwo develops arrogant characteristics and a fear of being weak from the traditions of the society, and throughout the book he puts up a hard exterior and beats his son Nwoye, because he thinks Nwoye is lazy and weak. In the end, Nwoye betrays Okonkwo because of his father’s cruel attitudes towards him and the fact that his father murders his adopted brother, Ikemefuna. Due to the influences of the Igbo society, Okonkwo is afraid of being a man without a title and being buried without dignity, so he strives all his life to achieve his dream, this is the cause of his impatient, arrogant characteristics and inner “fear” which eventually leads to his self-destruction. The influence of the Igbo society develops an inner “fear” and traits among the villagers, especially on men, causing negative impacts on their lives.

The main character, Okonkwo is never close to his three wives or children because of the male dominant society he lives. In the Igbo society, men are superior to women because they are considered as the brave warriors of the land; they go to wars and can have more than one wife. Their titles, homes, and wives are all symbols of wealth (Onyemae...

... middle of paper ...

...At the end, Okonkwo does not adapt to the changes of his village because of his characteristics and inner ‘fear” and it results in his self-destruction.

The influence of the Igbo society develops an inner “fear” and features among the villagers, especially on men, causing negative impacts on their lives. The main character, Okonkwo lives in a male dominant society where men are pressured to be strong and powerful, he beats his wives and children because of his inner “fear” and harsh characteristics which are influenced by the Igbo society. Okonkwo is cruel to his son and kills Ikemefuna because of his pride and fears of being weak. His son Nwoye betrays him and he is forever cursed with the blood stain of Ikemefuna on his hands. In the end, Okonkwo does not adapt to the changes of his village because of his characteristics and it results in his self-destruction.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Essay - ... Gender equality is equal valuing of the different roles assumed by men and women.(Okokwo 5579) This demonstrates that women are treated differently from men, and expected to do feminine jobs, and that they are not valued the same.. An example is when Ezinma asked her father if he needed a chair, but her father said “No, that’s a boy’s job.”(Achebe 60) Even though Ezinma is Okonkwo’s favourite daughter, Okonkwo still has to follow the male and female action depicted by the Ibo culture. As Ejike A....   [tags: gender roles, crimes, Okonkwo] 603 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on People Fall Apart in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe - People Fall Apart in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe    Karl Marx believed that all of history could be reduced to two tiny words: class struggle. In any period of time a dominant class exploits a weaker class. Marx defines a dominant class as one who owns or controls the means of production. The weaker class consists of those who don't. In Marx's day, the age of Almighty Industry, the means of production were factories. But as a literary theory Marxism needs no factories to act as means of production....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays Chinua Achebe Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1669 words
(4.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
No Longer At Ease by Chinua Achebe Essay - Well-acclaimed author, Chinua Achebe from Wes Africa, is recognized worldwide for his exquisite and intelligent usage of literary devices to bring to the limelight pertinent issues facing the African continent, more specifically Nigeria. He introduces the world to his main character Obi Okonkwo whom; through his eyes, a glimpse is given into the world of a Nigerian .In Things Fall Apart, his first of three novels, Okonkwo, upon his arrival from England is completely detached from his African heritage....   [tags: Obi Okonkwo, west africa]
:: 2 Works Cited
979 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Gender Roles in Things Fall Apart and A Doll´s House Essay - Gender roles, an expectation within each individual based on the way one talks, acts, and the things done. It is not something humans are born with, it’s not something that comes naturally, it is something that is expected of us, something that humans naturally do. Formerly and still to this day, society has had boundaries between gender roles, man being above women in society due to their expectations in society. Throughout literature, it has been portrayed that gender roles play a decisive role in social status, showing that men are above women in society: this is evident in the novels Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House....   [tags: Women, Roles, Society]
:: 9 Works Cited
930 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Things Fall Apart and A Doll's House on Gender Roles Essay - ... Traditional gender roles showcase the attitudes on how each sex is portrayed. Men are strong, decisive, they show no pain, attitudes tend to be directed in a more dominant direction. While women, they are casted as weak, submissive, they aren’t smart as men, they can’t get the job done. Critical Theory Today: A User-friendly Guide explains that the qualities society views each gender affects how they are affected, “A striking illustration is the word hysteria, which derives from the Greek word for womb and refers to psychological disorders deemed peculiar to women and characterized by overemotional, extremely irrational behavior” (Tyson 86)....   [tags: Chinua Achebe and Henrik Ibsen]
:: 8 Works Cited
1434 words
(4.1 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Okonkwo, the Hero Essay - Over the years, there have been many ideas of what a hero is. We all know the stories of superheroes like Batman, The Flash, Ironman, and The Incredible Hulk. Being a hero is more than being the strongest person around. There are everyday heroes that exist in our world. A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy's shoulders to let him know that the world hadn't ended. A hero could be a young boy helping an elderly woman cross the road....   [tags: Achebe, AFJROTC, Okonkwo]
:: 6 Works Cited
939 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Clash Between Okonkwo And His Society Essay - A famous philosopher named Aristotle once said, "He who is unable to live in a society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god" (Moncur ). Ever since the first humans, people have sought to live and grow where other people are. This organization of people living together as a community is called a society. For the members of it, society furnishes protection, continuity, security and identity. Without a society to be a part of, man is nothing. Therefore, if a man comes into conflict with his society, he must either accept these differences or be destroyed....   [tags: Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart] 1395 words
(4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Character of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay - The Character of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart What makes a successful man. This, in itself, is a culture bound question because it can vary from culture to culture. However, in the perception of Okonkwo, the main character in Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart, the measure of a man's success is based on two elements, material acquisition and growth, and physical prowess. This is ironic for Okonkwo since his people's typical idea of success seems to be constructed of a complex, strong spiritual culture, seemingly able to deal in traditional ways with any challenge in nature and human experience....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1597 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on the Downfall of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart - The Downfall of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart, uses the changes in African tribal culture brought about by European colonization to illustrate the evolution of the character Okonkwo. As Okonkwo leads his life, his experiences, personality and thought are revealed to the reader. The obstacles he faces in life are made numerous as time progresses. Okonkwo's most significant challenge originates within himself. He also encounters problems not only when in opposition to the white culture, but in his own culture, as he becomes frustrated with tribal ideals that conflict with his own....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays] 816 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Okonkwo as Epic Hero in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay - Okonkwo as Epic Hero in Things Fall Apart       Achebe’s work, Things Fall Apart, is an epic; it resembles stories about heroes found in many cultures. In these stories, the heroes are extraordinary individuals, whose careers and destinies are not theirs alone, but are bound with the fortunes and destinies of their society. They become heroes by accomplishing great things for themselves and their communities, winning much fame as a result.   Okonkwo fits this pattern. The first paragraph of Things Fall Apart is notable in this respect, for it describes Okonkwo as follows:   Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
966 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]