In over their families including their wives. Women

            In the article, “Igbo cultural and religious worldview: An
insider’s perspective” by Chinwe M. A. Nwoye and in the book, “Things Fall
Apart” by Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo thinks he is higher in position than others
because of his masculine character traits and gender which contribute to his
family being fearful of him. In the article “Igbo cultural and religious
worldview: An insider’s perspective” Nwoye explains how masculinity rules over
femininity and writes that even male children inherited land instead of women
showing the importance of males over females. Gender roles is a concept that is
valued greatly. In the Igbo culture “masculinity dominates the gender ideology”
(Nwoye, 313). Women couldn’t call their husbands by their real names and had to
call them by a praise name or social title. Men usually grew yams which showed
signs of masculinity. The more yam tubers a man had in his barn, the wealthier
he was thought to be. In the book “Things Fall Apart”, Chinua Achebe explains
gender roles that are similar to Nwoye’s ideas. Men in the Igbo society are
expected to be able to fully control their women or else they are not
considered as men. Okonkwo has three wives and makes it very clear that they
should obey him. Okonkwo controlled his household with sternness which is good
in Igbo society. This caused his wives to “live in perpetual fear of his fiery”
(Achebe, 22). Men are the dominant sex in the Igbo world and rule over their
families including their wives. Women are seen at a lower status and usually live
in terror of their husbands. Even though Okonkwo’s quick attitude with his
family is never liked in our society, it is cherished in his. Okonkwo may be hostile
toward his family at his home if he wants to. In my opinion, I think some of
Okonkwo’s bad actions are honored in his society, but not all of them. Okonkwo
treating his family like slaves shows his power over his family. I think
Okonkwo didn’t want to show love or empathy because other could have perceived
him as weak. Okonkwo wants to hold himself up as a leader by being ruthless to
his family. We might be horrified by this and see abuse, but the Igbo people
probably treasure this concept in some ways. When Okonkwo beat up two of his
three wives he did this because it was punishment for them, but I think he did
this based off his rank and power that he possesses. Okonkwo showed that women
were inferior to him by bossing them around and abusing them. When Okonkwo
murdered his son Ikemefuna, the reader though this was a terrible sight.
Okonkwo most likely did this to show his masculinity by not being afraid to
kill people including his own son. This act was probably looked at by the Igbo
people as a sign of masculinity because of the bravery he showed. Both authors
explain the importance of why and how masculinity is the leading gender and how
Okonkwo uses this to support Igbo society. 


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