Okonkwo ruled his family members through a heavy hand also. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual are afraid of his fiery temper <…> (2.12)


In the Igbo human being, males are the dominant sex and also they “rule” over their households, consisting of their wives. Woguys are relegated to a more or less servile position, regularly living in fear of their husbands. Though Okonkwo’s quick temper via his household is never before shown as admirable, he unquestionably has actually the best to be aggressive at residence.

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The elders, or ndichie, met to hear a report of Okonkwo’s mission. At the finish they determined, as everybody knew they would, that the girl should go to Ogbuefi Uperform to relocation his murdered wife. As for the boy, he belonged to the clan all at once, and tbelow was no hurry to decide his fate. (2.11)


While the young boy’s fate continues to be undetermined, the virgin girl’s fate is easily sealed. For someone else’s crime, she need to provide up the life she has well-known, her maidenhood, and her hand also in marital relationship to a finish stranger. This brand-new girl seems to be thought about a complete replacement for Ogbuefi Udo’s former wife, implying that womales are essentially all the very same and also therefore interchangeable. Basically, woguys are passed approximately prefer un-distinctive objects in the Igbo people.


Even as a little boy he had resented his father’s faiattract and weakness, and even currently he still remembered exactly how he had actually endured once a playmate had actually told him that his father was agbala. That was exactly how Okonkwo initially came to recognize that agbala was not just another name for a woguy, it can also suppose a man who had taken to title. (2.12)


In Igbo culture, womales are thought about weaker than the men and also for this reason it’s an insult to men to be called an agbala. Okonkwo is acutely conscious of what it suggests to be a guy in the Igbo people and is ashamed that someone can call him or his male connections agbala.


“He belongs to the clan,” he told her . “So look after him.” “Is he staying long through us?” she asked. “Do what you are told, woman,” Okonkwo thundered, and also stammered. “When did you become one of the ndichie of Umuofia?” And so Nwoye’s mother took Ikemefuna to her hut and also asked no even more concerns. (2.16-19)


Okonkwo treats his wife prefer a servant, demanding that she does whatever he commands her through no concerns asked. Womales, as demonstrated by Okonkwo’s eldest wife below, are taught to be silent and also obedient. In fact, womales count for so little in Igbo culture that they are often not even addressed by their provided names, however described by their connection through men. Throughout the entire novel, the narrator seldom calls Okonkwo’s first wife by her name, she is nearly always determined in relation to her husband or boy, Nwoye.


His mommy and also sisters worked difficult enough, yet they flourished women’s plants, prefer coco-yams, beans and also cassava. Yam, the king of crops, was a man’s chop. (3.28)


Nbeforehand eincredibly element of Igbo society is gendered, also plants. Yam, bereason it is the staple of the Igbo diet, is taken into consideration a man’s crop. This allows males to preserve the position as the main suppliers for their households, and also the respect which that function confers.


Inwardly Okonkwo knew that the boys were still also young to understand also completely the challenging art of preparing seed-yams. But he assumed that one could not start also early on. Yam stood for manliness, and also he who can feed his family members on yams from one gravest to one more was a very good male indeed. Okonkwo wanted his kid to be an excellent farmer and also a good guy. He would stamp out the disquieting indicators of laziness which he thought he currently saw in him. (4.32)


Okonkwo associates yams through manliness. The more yams a man is able to flourish, the more respected he is in his area. This reflects that guys are judged in part by their capacity to carry out for their households. Because yams are a hard chop to grow, being a great provider is directly tied to being a tough worker. Okonkwo, having experienced embarrassment and also poverty from his rather effeminate father (by his standards), will stop at nopoint to keep his sons from the same fate – also if it suggests breaking their hearts as bit boys.


Only a week ago a male had actually contradicted him at a kindred meeting which they held to discuss the next ancestral feastern. Without looking at the man Okonkwo had actually shelp. “This meeting is for guys.” The guy who had contradicted him had actually no titles. That was why he had called him a woguy. Okonkwo kbrand-new exactly how to kill a man’s heart. (4.1)


Being called a womale is plainly a nasty insult as it has the capacity to “kill a man’s spirit.” Obviously, women aren’t extremely valued in Umuofia.


: “I will certainly not have actually a son who cannot organize up his head in the gathering of the clan. I would sooner strangle him through my own hands.” (4.33)


Okonkwo would certainly rather kill his son than live with an effeminate one. Basically, Okonkwo is reasoning of his own reputation as a male, which he doesn’t desire tarnimelted by a soft boy.


Okonkwo cleared his throat and also relocated his feet to the beat of the drums. It filled him with fire as it had constantly done from his youth. He trembled through the desire to conquer and also subdue. It was prefer the desire for womale. (5.38)


Okonkwo characterizes his desire to wrestle as a desire for sex. This passage additionally gives us a really clear understanding into exactly how he views women: as objects to “conquer” and “subdue.” Clearly on, Okonkwo doesn’t check out women as his equates to.


As a issue of reality the tree was exceptionally a lot alive. Okonkwo’s second wife had actually simply reduced a few leaves off it to wrap some food, and also she sassist so. Without additionally debate, Okonkwo offered her a sound beating and also left her and also her only daughter weeping. Neither of the various other wives dared to interfere beyond an occasional and tentative, “It is sufficient, Okonkwo,” pleaded from a reasonable distance. (5.10)


Okonkwo is simple old irrationally angry and takes it out on his wife, beating her even though he isn’t truly angry around the banana tree. Part of what enrages Okonkwo is that his second wife, Ekwefi, stands up to him and tells him that she didn’t kill the darn banana tree. Okonkwo can’t manage a woman contradicting him. Okonkwo doesn’t even respect Ekwefi enough to engage in a conflict via her -- he just smacks her “without even more debate.”


Tbelow was no festival in all the seasons of the year which provided her as a lot pleacertain as the wrestling complement. Many kind of years back once she was the village beauty Okonkwo had won her heart by throwing the Cat in the best dispute in living memory. She did not marry him then bereason he was also bad to pay her bride-price. But a couple of years later on she ran amethod from her husband also and also pertained to live via Okonkwo. (5.14)


Ekwefi is attracted to solid, capable men. Okonkwo’s victory against the unbeaten Cat made him somepoint of a celebrity in her eyes and she acted on her wishes, running away from her husband to come and also live with Okonkwo. Interestingly, although Okonkwo’s wrestling ability is attractive and gains him standing, it doesn’t mean he’ll be an excellent husband. Can you imagine running away to elope via a male just to uncover out that he’s quickly enraged and has actually no qualms around beating his wives?


And after a pausage she said: “Can I lug your chair for you?” “No, that is a boy’s task.” Okonkwo was specially fond of Ezinma. (5.59-60)


Although Ezinma is most likely Okonkwo’s favorite kid, he adheres extremely strictly to the norms of male and also female activity ascribed by Igbo culture. He does not allow Ezinma to perform something as straightforward as carrying a chair to the festival for him bereason he considers it a boy’s task. Sadly, Okonkwo’s strict complying with of sex roles avoids him from reflecting his affection for his daughter.


“Sit choose a woman!” Okonkwo shouted at her. Ezinma lugged her 2 legs together and stretched them in front of her. (5.56)


Gender is so coded into eexceptionally aspect of Igbo culture that Okonkwo loses his patience with Ezinma when she stops working to sit choose a woguy. This is likewise a authorize that Ezinma sometimes trespasses into the realm of males with her unfeminine actions.


The womale through whom she talked was dubbed Chielo. She was the priestess of Agbala, the Oracle of the Hills and also the Caves. In ordinary life, Chielo was a widow through 2 children. She was very friendly through Ekwefi and also they mutual a common burned in the sector. She was specifically fond of Ekwefi’s only daughter, Ezinma, whom she dubbed “my daughter.” Quite frequently she bought beancakes and gave Ekwefi some to take residence to Ezinma. Anyone seeing Chielo in plain life would hardly think she was the very same person that prophesied once the heart of Agbala was upon her. (6.17)


Chielo is an example of an effective woguy – the lone priestess of significant god – that leads a dual life. In the sector, she is an simple woman and a great frifinish, however once the god takes possession of her, she changes substantially and also becomes a figure to be reckoned with. It is only as soon as a womale has actually superherbal power behind her that she is respected by men.


That was the type of story that Nwoye loved. But he now knew that they were for foolish womales and also youngsters, and he knew that his father wanted him to be a male. And so he feigned that he no much longer cared for women’s stories. And when he did this he experienced that his father was pleased, and also no much longer rebuked him or beat him. So Nwoye and also Ikemefuna would certainly listen to Okonkwo’s stories about tribal battles, or how, years earlier, he had actually stalked his victim, overpowered him and acquired his first huguy head. (7.4)


Prescribed sex functions pressure Nwoye to hide his true self from his father. By forcing his child to act prefer “man’s male,” Okonkwo isn’t teaching Nwoye to be a difficult worker or a valuable area member or a good husband also, he only teaches his boy to usage trickery to protect against a beating.


He was favor an elder brother to Nwoye, and from the extremely initially appeared to have actually kindled a brand-new fire in the younger boy. He made him feel grown-up; and also they no much longer invested the evenings in mother’s hut while she cooked, however currently say with Okonkwo in his obi, or watched him as he tapped his palm tree for the evening wine. Nothing pleased Nwoye currently more than to be sent for by his mom or one more of his father’s wives to perform among those hard and also masculine work in the house, favor separating lumber, or pounding food. On receiving such a message via a younger brother or sister, Nwoye would feign annoyance and grumble aloud about woguys and also their troubles. Okonkwo was inwardly pleased at his son’s advancement, and also he kbrand-new it was as a result of Ikemefuna. He wanted Nwoye to prosper into a hard young guy qualified of ruling his father’s family once he was dead and gone to sign up with the ancestors. He wanted him to be a thriving male, having enough in his barn to feed the ancestors with constant sacrifices. And so he was always happy as soon as he heard him grumbling about womales. That verified that in time he would be able to regulate his women-people. No issue exactly how flourishing a guy was, if he was unable to rule his women and also his children (and specifically his women) he was not really a male. He was choose the man in the song who had ten and also one wives and also not sufficient soup for his foo-foo. (7.1-2)


Ikemefuna’s existence makes Nwoye more willing to take on masculine work, yet pretentiously. Okonkwo takes his son’s changing actions as a sign of budding authoritative masculinity. Interestingly, Okonkwo specifies males partly by their habits towards woguys – males aren’t real males unmuch less they can force women to execute their bidding. Therefore males deserve to have totally free will certainly, but women need to be controlled and also subjugated.


“He will certainly perform good things,” Okonkwo shelp. “If I had actually a son choose him I need to be happy. I am worried around Nwoye. A bowl of pounded yams can throw him in a wrestling enhance. His 2 younger brothers are more promising. But I can tell you, Obierika, that my youngsters perform not resemble me <…> If Ezinma had actually been a boy I would certainly have been happier. She has actually the best spirit.” (8.17)


Okonkwo is disappointed in his sons – specifically Nwoye. The reason Okonkwo specifically cites is that his son is a negative wrestler and also isn’t at all prefer Okonkwo. Ironically, he wishes his daughter were a child bereason her “spirit” is “right” for a male.


“When did you end up being a shivering old woman,” Okonkwo asked himself, “you, that are well-known in all the nine villeras for your valor in war? How deserve to a man who has actually eliminated 5 guys in battle autumn to pieces bereason he has included a boy to their number? Okonkwo, you have end up being a womale indeed.” (8.9)


Okonkwo’s guilt over killing his adopted boy haunts him. Okonkwo, that shuns all emovement, thinks that feeling compassion and also guilt for the boy is a sign of weakness and also femininity – 2 attributes that are despicable to him. Clearly, Okonkwo sees valor and also compassion as incompatible.


Whenever before the assumed of his father’s weakness and also faientice troubled him he expelled it by reasoning about his very own stamina and also success. And so he did currently. His mind went to his latest show of manliness. “I cannot understand also why you refprovided to come via us to kill that boy,” he asked Obierika. (8.20-21)


When fearful of being prefer his father, Okonkwo hregarding reascertain himself strongly of his very own masculinity. Strangely, Okonkwo considers joining in the murder of Ikemefuna as being a “show of masculinity.” Considering that one conventional facet of masculinity is being the protector of one’s household, killing Ikemefuna could just be cruel and gruesome, quite than masculine.


“It was just this morning,” sassist Obierika “that Okonkwo and I were talking about Abame and Aninta, wbelow titled guys climb trees and also pound foo-foo for their wives.” “All their customizeds are upside-down. They execute not decide bride-price as we do, with sticks. They haggle and baracquire as if they were buying a goat or a cow in the market.” “That is incredibly negative,” sassist Obierika’s eldest brvarious other. “But what is great in one area is poor in an additional location. In Umunso they carry out not barobtain at all, not even through broomsticks. The suitor simply goes on bringing bags of cowries until his in-legislations tell him to soptimal. It is a negative tradition because it always leads to a quarrel.” “The world is huge,” said Okonkwo. “I have actually even heard that in some people a man’s youngsters belong to his wife and her family.” “That cannot be,” sassist Machi. “You could also say that the woguy lies on peak of the guy once they are making the kids.” (8.84-88)


The Umuofia are dead collection in their definitions of what is masculine and what is feminine. Machi can’t also abide by the concept that in some cultures, woguys own their kids. He compares that aberration of appropriate social structure to the impossibility of womales being on height throughout sex – which you only need to inspect out Cosmopolitan once to recognize that isn’t really an impossibility. Anyway, the males seem to feel that their own masculinity is endangered by various other people flouting different customs. Okonkwo and many kind of of the various other Umuofia guys, then seem to derive their feelings of masculine self-worth from outside resources – like cultural techniques – fairly than from an internal feeling of positive self-picture.


“It was constantly shelp that Ndulue and Ozoemena had actually one mind,” shelp Obierika. “I remember as soon as I was a young boy tright here was a song about them. He can not do anypoint without informing her.” “I did not understand that,” said Okonkwo. “I assumed he was a strong man in his youth.” “He was indeed,” sassist Ofoedu. Okonkwo shook his head doubtcompletely. (8.43-46)


Okonkwo considers any sign of affection and also dependence between husband and wife as a reflection of the husband’s weakness and also womanliness. It appears prefer Okonkwo isn’t in for a good future – or happy marriperiods – if he thinks that solid loving relationships should be avoided to reach his ultimate goal of complete manliness.


As he was speaking the boy went back, adhered to by Akueke, his half-sister, delivering a wood dish with 3 kola nuts and alligator pepper. She offered the dish to her father’s eldest brvarious other and also then shook hands, incredibly shyly, with her suitor and also his loved ones. She was about sixteen and just ripe for marriage. Her suitor and his loved ones surveyed her young body with expert eyes as if to assure themselves that she was beautiful and also ripe. She wore a coiffure which was done up right into a cremainder in the middle of the head. Cam timber was rubbed lightly into her skin, and all over her body were black patterns drawn with uli. She wore a babsence necklace which hung dvery own in three coils just above her full, succulent breasts. On her arms were red and also yellow bangles, and also on her waist 4 or 5 rows of jigida, or waist beads. (8.65-66)


Akueke is the perfect instance of a perfect Igbo girl. She is shy and also voluptuous and also wears her clothing, hair, and also accessories in the style of a fashionable young womale. When deciding if they desire her to marry into their household, the suitor and his loved ones “survey” her, so they simply look at her. We can recommend that they try a comprehensive intercheck out, yet they seem to be satisfied that she’ll be a great wife based on her shy actions, “succulent breasts,” and her dress.


: “The regulation of Umuofia is that if a woguy runs amethod from her husband her bride-price is went back.” (10.32)


Womales are treated favor pieces of residential property, worth a collection sum of money, which have the right to be exreadjusted from male to male.


It was clear from the way the crowd stood or sat that the ceremony was for men. There were many type of women, but they looked on from the fringe like outsiders. He titled men and elders sat on their stools waiting for the trials to begin. (10.2)


Womales are mostly excluded from participating in the typical “judicial” hearings, as have the right to be viewed by their position in the audience – on the outskirts. Only men may stop and judge at these trials, also when a woman is the one with a complaint to pose.


The just course open to Okonkwo was to flee from the clan. It was a crime versus the earth goddess to kill a clansguy, and a man who committed it need to flee from the land. The crime was of two kinds, male and female. Okonkwo had actually committed the female, bereason it had actually been inadvertent. He might return to the clan after salso years. (13.13)


Even crimes are gendered in Igbo society, with male crimes taken into consideration even more major and also pre-meditated than female ones. Hence, the punishment for female crimes is much less major than for male ones. It states somepoint around Igbo worths for woguys that a person’s punishment is to be exicaused his motherland.


: “Can you tell me, Okonkwo, why it is that among the commocolony names we provide our youngsters is Nneka, or ‘Mother is Supreme?’ We all understand that a male is the head of the family members and also his wives carry out his bidding. A boy belongs to its father and his family and not to its mommy and also her family. A male belongs to his fatherland and not to his motherland. And yet we say Nneka – ‘Mvarious other is Supreme.’ Why is that?” “I do not understand the answer,” Okonkwo replied <…>. “Then listen to me <…>. It’s true that a son belongs to its father. But when a father beats his boy, it looks for sympathy in its mother’s hut. A guy belongs to his fatherland also when points are good and life is sweet. But when tbelow is sorrow and also bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland. Your mother is tbelow to defend you. She is hidden there. And that is why we say that mother is supreme.” (14.25-32)


The mom number supplies her son somepoint the father never before can – unconditional compassion. Uchendu presents fathers as a sort of fair-weather friend. This explains why a guy is exiled to his motherland as soon as he has committed a crime; he can suppose to find sympathy and forgiveness tbelow. And this is why “Mvarious other is Supreme.” Finally, something nice around women!


Okonkwo was popularly referred to as the ‘Roaring Flame.’ As he looked right into the log fire he rereferred to as the name. He was a flaming fire. How then can he have beacquired a child prefer Nwoye, degeneprice and effeminate? Perhaps he was not his boy. No! he might not be. His wife had actually played him false. He would certainly teach her! But Nwoye resembled his grandfather, Unoka, that was Okonkwo’s father. He pushed the thought out of his mind. He, Okonkwo, was dubbed a flaming fire. How can he have actually begotten a womale for a son? (17.26)


Okonkwo compares himself to a flame – a symbol of masculinity for its incessant movement, its virile heat, its flaming temper, and its destructiveness. He likewise equates cold dead ash through femininity. Okonkwo is exceptionally disappointed in Nwoye because he isn’t fire-prefer – basically, Okonkwo wants sons that are simply choose him. He’s so disappointed in Nwoye that he goes so much regarding think that probably his wife slept with one more man. It damages Okonkwo’s very own feeling of masculinity to see that his own progeny is not fire-prefer.


Now that he had actually time to think of it, his son’s crime stood out in its stark enormity. To abandon the gods of one’s father and also go around through a lot of effeminate guys clucking like old hens was the extremely depth of abomination. Suppose as soon as he passed away all his male kids decided to follow Nwoye’s steps and also abandon their ancestors. Okonkwo felt a cold shudder run through him at the disastrous prospect, choose the prospect of annihilation. (17.25)


Okonkwo considers the Christians effeminate because they preach and also sing more than they take activity. However, he sees just how effective the missionaries’ recruitment has been and he fears annihilation of his bloodline. But to Okonkwo, he sees annihilation as the loss of every one of his male offspring; his daughters moving his blood isn’t enough for him.


Nneka had had actually 4 previous pregnancies and childbirths. But each time she had actually borne twins, and they had actually been immediately thrown amethod. Her husband also and also his family members were currently becoming extremely important of such a woman and also were not unduly perturbed when they discovered she had actually fled to join the Christians. It was a good riddance. (17.13)


If a womale can’t efficiently bear kids, she’s not really worth much. Nneka’s husband and his household don’t also really treatment that Nneka has actually run off with the Christians, it conserves them the trouble of supporting a woguy that can’t pull her own weight by giving youngsters.


“Let us not factor like cowards,” said Okonkwo. “If a man comes right into my hut and also defecates on the floor, what carry out I do? Do I shut my eyes? No! I take a stick and break his head. That is what a male does. These civilization are everyday putting filth over us, and also Okeke states we have to pretfinish not to view.” Okonkwo made a sound full of disgust. This was a womanly clan, he assumed. Such a thing could never before take place in his fatherland, Umuofia. (18.22)


Okonkwo associates cowardice via femininity and thus calls the Mbanta people womanly for their refusal to violently resist the Christians. He translates activity and violence via masculinity and his warchoose Umuofia clan.


Ezinma prospered up in her father’s exile and also came to be one of the most beautiful girls in Mbanta. She was called Crystal of Beauty, as her mommy had been called in her youth. The young ailing girl who had resulted in her mommy so much heartache had actually been transformed, virtually overnight, right into a healthy and balanced, buoyant maiden. She had actually, it was true, her minute of depression once she would certainly snap at everybody favor an angry dog. These moods descended on her all of a sudden and for no obvious reason. But they were extremely rare and also short-lived. As long as they lasted, she can bear no other perchild but her father. (20.9)


Ezinma is coming to be even more and more stereotypically feminine. Her extrasimple beauty provides her much wanted by males, yet she still retains trans-sex traits prefer her somewhat fiery temper and also her concord with her hyper-masculine father.


With 2 beautiful grown-up daughters his return to Umuofia would certainly tempt substantial attention. His future sons-in-law would be males of authority in the clan. The negative and also unknown would not dare come forth. (20.14)


Okonkwo in part values his daughters because they are beautiful and also have the right to therefore entice the most respected men, which will in turn bring Okonkwo even more honor and standing in the area. Though we know Okonkwo cares around Ezinma, he does still objectify all his daughters, seeing them as vehicles to further his reputation.


Okonkwo was extremely lucky in his daughter. He never before quit regretting that Ezinma was a girl. Of all his youngsters she alone interpreted his eexceptionally mood. A bond of sympathy had grown in between them as the years had passed. (20.8)


Aobtain, Okonkwo regrets that Ezinma has been born a girl considering that he believes she has actually the best spirit for a man. In addition, she understands him, a bond which he would certainly significantly favor to share via one more male rather of a lowly womale.


“You have actually all viewed the great abomicountry of your brvarious other. Now he is no longer my child or your brvarious other. I will certainly only have a boy who is a male, who will host his head up among my civilization. If any one of you pdescribes be a woguy, let him follow Nwoye currently while I am alive so that I have the right to curse him.” (20.7)


Okonkwo considers Nwoye’s defection to the Christian side a authorize of lost masculinity and additionally unworthiness to be considered part of Okonkwo’s household. So adamant is he that his children follow the stereotypical traditions of what is masculine and also what is feminine that he disowns Nwoye for his crime, and also will certainly perform the exact same to any kind of of his various other youngsters that follow in Nwoye’s footmeasures.


Okonkwo was deeply grieved <…>. He mourned for the clan, which he observed breaking up and falling acomponent, and also he mourned for the warlike males of Umuofia, that had actually so unaccountably end up being soft prefer women. (21.25)


The breaking acomponent of the Umuofia civilization is a signal to Okonkwo of their occurring weakness and also femininity. He significantly valued his human being because they epitomized masculinity, and thus he mourns his clan and considers it of much less worth by seeing his clan as feminine.


“Worthy guys are no even more,” Okonkwo sighed as he remembered those days. “Isike will certainly never before forgain exactly how we slaughtered them in that battle. We killed twelve of their guys and they eliminated only 2 of ours. Before the finish of the fourth industry week they were suing for tranquility. Those were days once males were men.” (24.8)


Because his Umuofia world will certainly not fight a holy war against the Christians, Okonkwo considers them weakened to the allude of womanliness. His vision of masculinity appears to have actually no place for anypoint but rash and aggressive activity. Only in the old glory days when the Umuofia fearlessly fought wars and also eliminated various other people were they really males.

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“The best obstacle in Umuofia,” Okonkwo believed bitterly, “is that coward, Egonwanne. His sweet tongue can change fire into cold ash. When he speaks he moves our guys to impotence. If they had ignored his womanish wisdom five days ago, we would certainly not have actually involved this.” (24.10)


Okonkwo considers Egonwanne womanly bereason his words speak men from acting, makes them impotent. Egonwanne is a retarding force on the masculine Umuofia. Okonkwo’s point is pushed further by invoking the fire/ash rhetoric, through fire being masculine and also ash being impotent and also emasculated.