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Published: 13-09-2019

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The Portrayal of women in Things Fall Apart

Discussing the part of ladies in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart demands a thorough and unbiased reading of the novel. This might be difficult for a person from a western nation as at initial sight, the ladies in Things Fall Apart may look to be an oppressed group with quite small saying in the Igbo society, which is true to a specific extent. However, after analyzing the theme of gender completely, it seems that the Igbo women have different roles of great importance in the Igbo society as portrayed in the novel. In this essay, the different roles women play in Igbo society and why they are portrayed that way will be analyzed primarily based on the part women play in Igbo religion, their part as caretaker and their function as educators.

Firstly, ladies play a large function in the Igbo religion. Women often take on the part of priestess as talked about in the novel. A quote from the book reveals that throughout Okonkwo’s childhood, “the priestess in these days was a lady known as Chika. She was complete of the energy of her god, and she was tremendously feared.” During the present time in which the novel is set, the priestess is Chielo. When Okonkwo’s daughter, Ezinma, is ill, he visits Chielo and “Okonkwo pleaded with her to come back in the morning because Ezinma was now asleep.” This is the first, and final time in the novel that we see Okonkwo plead with any person. Chielo did not just order Okonkwo to give her Ezinma, but she threatened him as well. This displays the energy that a priestess possesses in the Igbo society, and the reality that a lady can take on the function as a priestess and spiritual leader shows us the achievable esteem of girls in the Igbo society.

An additional example of females playing a massive role in the Igbo religion is the earth goddess, Ani. She is described as playing “a greater element in the life of the folks than any other deity”. It appears unlikely that a society in which girls are inferior to men, the most potent deity is represented as a woman. Ani also plays a large function in the yam harvest. A quote from the novel reveals that it is critical for all clan members to participate in the week of peace prior to the harvest, “to honor their wonderful goddess the earth with no whose blessing their crops will not grow”. Yams are usually the symbol of masculinity in Items Fall Apart, so it is remarkable that the males are so reliant on the blessing of a female getting.

Secondly, are viewed as the foundation of the clan and its individuals, as stated by Uchida. They can constantly be relied upon and they are the caretakers of the Igbo clan. These, most definitely, are roles that show a type of energy and significance. In addition, just like the earth goddess, Ani, ladies have played an important function in the process of creating yams. We are told that “the women weeded the farm 3 occasions at definite periods in the life of the yams, neither early or late.” In this case, also, it is outstanding that the men rely on the girls to carry out such an important duty due to the fact if accomplished incorrectly, the yam harvest will fail.

Lastly, females play the function of educators for their kids. The main way in which the Igbo girls educate their youngsters is by storytelling. As described in the novel, “Low voices, broken now and once again by singing, reached Okonkwo from his wives’ huts as each woman and her children told folk stories.” It is by means of this act of storytelling that the Igbo youngsters find out lessons of great value about the human situation, are taught Igbo creation myths, such as the birds and the tortoise story, and master art of communication by learning how to retell these stories themselves. As stated in the novel, “Among Igbo, the art of conversation is regarded quite extremely, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.” Evidently, Igbo women play a important function in the facilitation of education, which is core to their children’s potential to correctly function within the Igbo culture.

To conclude, at 1st glance the role of ladies in Igbo society might look inferior to that of the males, but following further analyzing, Issues Fall Apart the ladies can take on quite essential roles in Igbo society that most definitely cannot be neglected.
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