The Masculine Focused Ibo Culture In Chinua Achebe's, Things Fall Apart

672 words - 3 pages

1. In traditional Ibo culture, women are not treated as equals and are equivalent to possessions. In a family, the children always belong to the father, not the mother. “I have even heard that in some tribes a man’s children belong to his wife and her family” (74). Okonkwo appears appalled to this blasphemy. It is common and ideal for a husband to possess multiple wives, and men beat their wives for even the smallest infractions. During the Week of Peace, the goddess forbids wife beating, such as when Okonkwo beat Ojiugo. “And when she returned he beat her very heavily …It was unheard of to beat somebody during the sacred week” (29-30). To live in a culture with so many threats to them, women are required to be mentally and emotionally strong.

Aside from their roles in a family, women paint the Egwugwu house, even though they never enter. The mothers are also the primary educators of their children, “each woman and her children told folk stories” (96). Despite women not fulfilling many responsibilities, they play the role Priestess. Priestesses are greatly respected spiritual leaders; this shows that their society in no way takes them for granted. Furthermore, one of the important gods they worship is female. “The Feast of the New Yam… was an occasion for giving thanks to Ani, the earth goddess and the source of all fertility” (36). The importance of this goddess demonstrates that women have a place of power in Ibo religion as well.

2. The Ibo people are in no way savages because they have an organized structure to their society with rules and laws. A society that employs morals, ethics, and accountability for peoples’ actions cannot be considered savage. The Ibo are highly religious; the base of most of their daily life revolves around religion, whether it is how they raise their families or how they grow their crops. “The Feast of the New Yam was held every year before the harvest began, to honor the earth goddess” (36). Yams control the Ibo economy, and if a...

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