Around a women within this society must have

Around the world different cultures have a variety of opinions on how gender should be seen as.

In America, man and women are equal in manys ways while on the other hand in Chinua Achebe’s Nigerian  society Igbo, man and women roles are polar opposites. In his novel Things Fall Apart, Achebe introduces his personal beliefs on gender stereotypes, from the accumulative mindset of an African society in the 1800’s, by including different perspectives on what gender should mean.In the Igbo culture men were viewed as the dominant sex, they got to rule over their families, including their multiple wives. Women not only looked up to the men but often feared them as a whole, because of how much power they held. Especially with Okonkwo’s quick temper, his wives “lived in perpetual fear” (Achebe 12) of what his impulsive and irrational actions would lead too.

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Being a women within this society must have been grim and it’s understandable as to why they would have been desperate for a change. Many suggest that the overall theme of the novel was how different places have view that could possibly go against others but  in actuality it’s about how society as a whole has transformed and become more open minded about gender and what it should mean to be a man or a women. Nearly every segment of the Igbo society is viewed by gender first, especially pertaining to women and what their capabilities are. Women were viewed as no more than a man’s property, this was demonstrated when Okonkwo came home to find that one of his wives was gone, then out of rage when she “returned he beat her heavily”(Achebe 29) for simply getting her hair done. Women were looked down upon, while men were looked up to, all because they were born a different gender.

This shows how drastically the laws from one civilization to another can change and really show who they protect. In America its illegal to hit a women yet within that community not one person would even acknowledge it.  One detail that shows how highly men were looked upon, was when even crops were labeled by gender,  women were given a variety of crops to grow but “Yam, the king of crops, was a man’s crop”(Achebe 28)  a crop that only a man could hold the responsibility to grow. To this group of individuals the simplest thing like a plant can  hold a completely different meaning then from what it means  in America. To them these small fragments of their life hold value and help them cherish their beliefs.


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