Themes in Things Fall Apart

Essay by jordanscottHigh School, 10th gradeA, October 2014

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Downloaded 1 times

Jordan Scott 3A


Cultural Conflict: Argumentative Analysis

In the novel, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, the author creates a theme of masculinity. Because power is associated with masculinity, Achebe makes the male protagonist, Okonkwo, one of the most powerful and feared leaders in the clan. Men are often viewed as being more powerful than women, which makes power a masculine trait.

Masculinity is demonstrated in the following quote, "[Okonkwo] was a very strong man and rarely felt fatigue. But his wives and children were not as strong, and so they suffered. But they dare not complain openly. Okonkwo's first son, Nwoye, was then twelve years old but was already causing his father great anxiety for his incipient laziness. At any rate, that was how it looked to his father, and he sought to correct him by constant nagging and beating. And so Nwoye was developing into a sad faced youth."

This demonstrates masculinity because it compares Okonkwo, a very strong man, to his wives, who are depicted as weak. Being masculine gives a man pride and a strong ego. Without masculinity, a man in the tribe would have no power and would be thought of as "womanly" which was unacceptable. That is the reason why Okonkwo is anxious about his son, Nwoye's, "incipient laziness." He is scared that Nwoye will not possess masculine traits when he grows older so he tries to fix him by constant "nagging and beating." The theme of masculinity created in Things Fall Apart can also be represented through images.

Masculinity can also be demonstrated in an image. One image that stood out for representing this theme is the image of a man holding the world on his shoulders and kneeling to a woman who is sitting with her legs crossed. This...