Okonkwo Gender Roles

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In the book Things Fall Apart the main character, Okonkwo, expresses great preference for gender roles. From very early in the book he explains his and his cultures main idea of what it is like to be a man and what that represents. We are able to see his expectations for his son based on the gender he takes part of and his responsibilities based in this gender. We also get a glimpse of what being a women is like in this society and how Okonkwo treats his multiple wives. Gender roles are clearly seen as very important to Okonkwo and from very early on in the book we can conclude that they are very important to him and to his society because it defines them and gives them an identity of who they are and how they are supposed to be. When Chinua Achebe describes Okonkwo’s appearance in the beginning of the book he explains him to have characteristics that are essential and objective to what a real and successful man should look like in this society. Because he grew up in a society where wrestling and violence between men is celebrated he grew up with the idea that in order to fit his gender role the best he could he had to fit into this criteria. The disappointment he had on his father for lacking…show more content…
Okonkwo wants his son to grow up to be like him, strong, dedicated, and successful. He is tough on his son and bullies him in order to achieve this result from him. It is clear that he has extremely high expectations for his son and is always looking to see for flaws here and there to make sure that his son grows up to fit his idea of what a successful male in this society is supposed to be. These high expectations cause a kind of abuse that is allowed in the society but could essentially be harmful for the child. Their focus on their gender roles blinds him to this and makes him unaware of how tough he really is being and how harmful it can and is on their

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