Tuesday, January 20, 2009


After reading the second half of “Things Fall Apart” it became obvious that some themes were prominent throughout the entirety of the book. The concept of male domination was prevalent from the very beginning of the book and remains a constant. Being called a woman is an offensive term and is used to describe the weak. I found it interesting that although this is the lowest status one could have in the community, Okonkwo praises his daughter, Ezinma, claiming that she has the right kind of spirit and goes on to say that she should have been a man.
Later in the book, after Okonkwo and his family are exiled and must return to his mother land, a different view of women is stated. Okonkwo’s uncle informs him and all others that “It is true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy from its mother’s hut. A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland. Your mother is there to protect you.” (134). When Uchenda makes this claim it gives women a new status, they are still not dominant and have no real power, but this statement gives them respect and credibility.
After Okonkwo’s son, Nwoye, chooses to convert to Christianity, it is said that he is happy to leave his father, most likely feeling liberated, but that he will return to his mother. The culture praises the strong will of the male but throughout the book the reader also gets the sense that women were respected for their gentleness and soft nature.
When Okonkwo is captured and to be hanged, Ezinma immediately returns to reason for his life. Ezinma seems to be the female heroine, she is both strong and has the ability to care for others. Hers is a character that is mentioned in all three sections and has a vital role. After reading the book, I found Okonkwo and Ezinma to have a very significant relationship.

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