Essay on Women´s Roles in hings Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is based in pre-colonial Nigeria. This novel portrays

African men as being very strong and protective of their families. Okonkwo the

protagonist of the novel ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the

youngest, live in perpetual fear of his fiery temper. In the novel women are

restricted to the home and possessed little decision making power. “His mother and

sisters worked hard enough, but they grew women’s crops, like coco-yams, beans,

cassava. Yam, the King of crops, was a man’s crop”(chapter 3). This also tells us that

the women were regarded as weak people because they were not allowed to plant

the King crops. Achebe portrays the female characters in TFA as being
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Women had no option apart from obeying their husbands. Okonkwo’s other wife was beaten because she cut some leaves off a banana tree to wrap food. When he saw the tree, he beat her for killing it, the tree was still alive, and the wife just cut a few leaves. (Achebe. 38), Okonkwo beat his wives for small issues that made them fear him. Women had limited power in their own household. Men used to rule the household; Okonkwo used to dominate his household and was feared by all the women staying under his roof.

On the other hand when you start reading the novel further you get to know that women play important roles in the Igbo culture. The author really makes the reader think. Women are also represented as powerful people in the clan. The women perform the role of priestess on daily basis. Chinua Achebe recalls that during
Okonkwo's boyhood, "the priestess in those days was woman called Chika. She was full of the power of her god, and she was greatly feared" (Achebe 17), this tells us that women played a huge role in the Igbo culture.
The present priestess is Chielo, "the priestess of Agbala, the Oracle of the hill and the
Caves" (Achebe 49). In a chapter Achebe tells us that Chielo has come for Okonkwo’s daughter Ezinma. The author tells us that, Okonkwo pleaded with her to come back in the morning because Ezinma was sleeping. Chielo didn’t care about what he was trying to say and went on

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