Things Fall Apart: Essay

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Things Fall Apart Essay
Often in times, the themes an author expresses in his or her book frequently serve as a microcosm of the entire book, and even sometimes the actual feelings in the world at that particular time in history. In Things Fall Apart, a book about Nigerian culture from the viewpoint of a strong-willed, traditional tribesman and the effect of European influence on Africa, Chinua Achebe expresses a main theme of masculinity, which encompasses many other ideas such as the relationships between masculinity and femininity, masculinity and the upbringing of children, and masculinity and bloodshed/violence.
Similar to other African cultures in Nigeria in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the male figure was dominant to the female. Achebe shows this behavior through the character development of Okonkwo, and his interactions between his 3 wives. The males would often do the “manly” work of the village which required much strength and a good work ethic, such as farming, and other tiring activities, while the women usually confined to the houses or huts and the surrounding gardens to carry out the household chores and care for their many children. In that society, a prosperous man often had many wives, and in order to fully be recognized as a man, the male figure of the household would have to be able to manage his wives and children. This idea is shown in the book when Okonkwo, the main character in the story states that “No matter how prosperous a man was, if he was unable to rule his women and children (and especially his women), he was not really a man.” This idea says that no matter how much money you have, you have to be able to control your wives and offspring, or you wouldn’t be considered a man. This quote alone reinforces Achebe’s’ theme of Masculinity in the story.
Another theme expresses in Things Fall Apart is the upbringing of the…...

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