Books and Movies Reviews

Things Fall Apart

The Mistreatment of Women in Things Fall Apart
Women are often thought of as the weaker, more vulnerable of the two sexes.Thus, women's roles in literature are often subdued and subordinate.In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, women are viewed as second-class citizens, powerless and defenseless to the authority of men.Women are not respected as people, but as property, laborers, and the producers of children.A woman has no identity of her own; the status and position of her husband defines her.Achebe offers an accurate depiction of the role of women in a male-dominated society in Things Fall Apart.
The central character, Okonkwo, has three wives that he treats more like servants than companions. His wives "live[] in perpetual fear of his fiery temper" (2622). They are never to act without orders or question them when they are given, illustrating the level of submissiveness a woman must display to be socially acceptable. In the second chapter, Okonkwo brings Ikemefuna, a prisoner of war with a neighboring clan, into his home until the clan decides what should be done with him. Okonkwo tells his senior wife to look after him. She asks if the captive will be staying for a long period of time. Okonkwo furiously replies, “Do what you are told, woman" (2623) and she "asked no more questions" (2623).This sort of disrespect paints the picture of life as a female in Umuofian society. Playing the only role she knows, the senior wife, who is mostly referred to as the mother of the eldest son, tries to comfort Ikemefuna. She takes him in as if he is one of her own children. She tries to put him at ease and can almost instinctively feel how much he misses his own mother.
Further supporting the idea of the inferior female, the tribe allows the physical abuse of women, who are considered property. Okonkwo beats his youngest wife, Ojiugo, because she goes out to get her hair plaited and do…

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