Need an research paper on changing gender roles in things fall apart. Needs to be 5 pages. Please no plagiarism.
Women are prescribed within certain distinct roles in Ibo culture, even in planting and harvesting of “women’s crops like coco-yams, beans, and cassava. Yam, the king of crops, was a man’s crop” (Achebe 16) because it was a more difficult and painstaking job to grow them successfully. Only men were allowed to grow yams and a man’s wealth was measured by his land, his yams, and yam seed – the yam was the outward expression of social power and manhood.Okonkwo had established his manhood by rising from poverty to become one of the lords of the clan.
When he was contradicted by another man at a meeting, Okonkwo did not even look at him as he declared that the meeting was for men. By implying that he was equivalent to a woman because he had earned no titles, Achebe states that “Okonkwo knew how to kill a man’s spirit.” (Achebe 19) since women occupied a subservient place in Ibo culture. Gender roles were standardized in Ibo culture, with men and women relegated to performing specific duties.Manhood in Ibo culture was equated to hard work, self-sufficiency and strength, hence Okinkwo showed no affection for Ikemefuna despite becoming fond of him, unhesitantly killing the boy he had grown so fond of.
A man was expected to exercise power and control over his family in Ibo culture. As per the view of Okonkwo, the quintessential male in the novel, “No matter how prosperous a man as if he was unable to rule his wife and his children (and especially his women) he was not really a man”. (Achebe 39).In the novel, Okonkwo demonstrated this power and strength on many occasions, notably on the occasion when he beat his youngest wife, Ojuiguo, for not returning from a neighbor’s house in time to serve him his meal.
.Despite his other two wives pleading in alarm that it was the Week of Peace where the goddess of the harvest was propitiated, “Okonkwo was not the man to stop beating somebody half-way through, not even for fear of a goddess.”(Achebe 21).The committing of a crime was also classified as male or female and punishment determined accordingly. For example, when Okonkwo finished the killing of Ikemefuna, it was regarded as a heroic, male act because it carried through a prescribed punishment. hence it was deserving of praise.