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'Things Fall Apart' - Chinua Achebe.

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Introduction

'Things Fall Apart' - Chinua Achebe At different points in the novel, Achebe's narrator states "Mother is Supreme" and "it was clear from the way the crowd stood or sat that the ceremony was for men. There were many women, but they looked on from the fringe like outsiders." Discuss the presentation of women in the novel in the light of these statements. In the novel 'Things Fall Apart' we see the recurring theme of the woman's role in society as opposed to the man's role. At this time in Africa women were regarded as possessions, either of their father or their husbands, not as independent individuals. From the statements taken from various points in the novel we are able to observe two different views of women in the society. ...read more.

Middle

For example when she came and took Okonkwo's daughter when she was severely sick and her ability to command respect from even Okonkwo. Okonkwo also had respect for his daughter because she was more like a boy than his son. He admires her and loves her for her male qualities. On the other hand in the statement "it was clear from the way the crowd stood or sat that the ceremony was for men. There were many women, but they looked on from the fringe like outsiders" it is clear to see that the view of females is entirely different. In this aspect women are subservient and expected to step back and stand on the sidelines watching the men. ...read more.

Conclusion

Okonkwo's treatment of his wives and his dominance throughout the household highlights the subservient nature of women in that society. Okonkwo was the ruler of his household and he makes it evident by his mistreatment of his wives, which sometimes included him abusing them. His actions, within the community, are viewed as brave and valiant because the abuse of women was regarded as a natural occurrence. It was a way of displaying dominance over the fairer sex. The women in the novel are presented in two completely separate aspects. At first they are portrayed as supreme beings, beings to be revered. Then in the second statement we see them depicted as servants, outsiders, people who seem to not belong. Both presentations of women in the novel are accurate and appropriate depending on the context in which they are viewed. Nadya Forbes ...read more.

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