Things Fall Apart1

The Ibo society in Africa is very different from the American society that I am used to. One of the major differences is the way women are treated. On page 37 of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo conveys 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. On page 94 Okonkwos uncle says we all know that a man is the head of the family and his wives do his bidding. This shows us that women in the Ibo society are considered subservient to the men of the society and are sometimes mistreated, however they are still very important to society. This is evident in many other places throughout the book Things Fall Apart. The way women are referred to in the book tells about their social standing as well. Many times women are referred to by their relationship to a man. There are many references to Nyowes mother and Okonkwos first wife, but Ekwefi is seldom called by her name. The same goes with the wife of Ogbuefi Udo who was murdered by the members of another African village near Umofia. In the first chapter of the book we see how women are expected to do what their husbands say with no questions asked. When Ikemefuna comes to Umofia and is put under Okonkwos care he (Okonkwo) immediately calls for his first wife and says look after him, when she asks a question regarding the boy, Okonkwo says do what you are told woman to which his first wife responds by taking Ikemefuna into her hut, asking no more questions. The only two women who are consistently referred to by their name throughout the book are Ezinma and Chielo. That is because Ezinma is very special to her father, Okonkwo, and Chielo is the priestess of the oracle. On pages 122 and 123, Okonkwo thinks to himself that Ezinma is special because of all his children she alone understood his every mood. On many occa…

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