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Status of Women in Things Fall Apart


Status of Ladies in Things Fall Apart

The Role and Status of Females When checking out Segu and Things Fall Apart, the function of females is a major part of each book. Their functions are alike in some ways but at the same time they have some small distinctions. In Achebe’s text, females do not appear to be of much importance in their everyday life, however they are crucial to the spiritual wellness of their culture. In Conde’s text though, the ladies are a lot more respected by the people in their people. The level of respect for women differs significantly in each book. In Things Fall Apart, females were often mistreated for anything they may have done wrong.

For example, Okonkwo beat his 2nd spouse two times, when because she was late returning home and had actually not yet prepared his meal. He was then just penalized due to the fact that it was the week of peace (Achebe 24). The 2nd time was when he believed she eliminated his banana tree and she had actually told him she simply cut a couple of leaves from it to wrap food. “Without more argument Okonkwo provided her a sound pounding” (Achebe 33). From this you acquire a strong sense that women were not very well appreciated among the Ibo people. On the contrary in Segu, males would rely on their other halves for comfort.

When Dousika was dismissed from the king’s council he just wished to feel enjoyed. “Then he heard Nya’s steps in the entrance to the hut. He would have liked her to pity him, to console him as if he were a child” (Conde 35). This would not have actually been the case at all in Okonkwo’s people. Instead of attempting to be comforted, Okonkwo may have utilized his fists simply to take his anger out on somebody. Females in the Ibo tribe were not appreciated as people either. They were thought of as home to the men, manufacturers of kids, and workers.

The females were to look after the kids, inform them, prepare the meals, and take care of the harvest. Although the women did not grow the yams, since they were thought about a “guy’s crop”, they grew other kinds of harvest that became simply as crucial to the tribe. “His mom and sisters strove enough, however they grew females’s crops, like coco-yams, beans, and cassava” (Achebe 19). Every day they would gather what was grown and prepare meals for their households. They would also be responsible for making dishes for any celebration that would happen in the town.

In Segu, the ladies would be accountable for preparing all the meals also. The only difference in their labor was that they would work and sell the marketplace location. In both tribes, the women’s central function was to take care of the household. Despite the fact that the mother did everything she might to raise her kids up, the kids still would constantly come from the dad instead of coming from both parents. In one passage of Segu, Dousika asks Sira “What do you think of what has taken place to our household?” and Sira responds “It’s not my family, it’s your son’s” (Conde 37).

This is an indication that it is the guy that is head of the family and that the mom has no say whatsoever. The only time that a child ever looked to its mom was when there was sorrow in his/her life. In the Ibo people they had a saying that mom is supreme however it just applied to one thing. It suggests that “A guy belongs to his fatherland when things are excellent and life is sweet. However when there is grief and bitterness he discovers refuge in his motherland. Your mom is there to secure you and that is why we say mom is supreme” (Acebe 116).

In Segu and crazes break down, the ladies can also be seen as residential or commercial property to the guys. In the Bambara tribe, females of a various clan would in some cases be offered as a concubine to a guy of the tribe on the condition of unsettled taxes. The females would have no say at all and the better halves of the males must cope with this and share their spouse. Even if the concubine’s family did finally pay off their taxes, if the guy refused to provide her at that time she would need to remain, even if she did not want to (Conde 11).

Male could take the slaves and sleep with them whenever they desired. Likewise whenever a male would rape a young girl, as soon as she reached adolescence, the rites would be carried out and a marriage would occur whether she wanted to wed him or not (Conde 242). One last example of how the women of the Bambara were viewed as residential or commercial property was when Dousika died in part 2 and his very first partner Nya was handed down to his more youthful brother, Diemogo. “If Nya now declined to wed Diemogo as tradition prescribed, she would need to go back to her own family” (Conde 144).

Ladies had no say in the matter, even in her case, the two of them never ever got along but she still had no choice unless she wished to be without her children. It likewise appeared as though the guys held a double standard in the Ibo village when it came to the respect of ladies. They continuously abused their females of the tribe, but yet extremely regarded the priests of their faith whom were likewise female. Everybody from near and far pertained to consult Chielo, the priestess of Agbala and the oracle of the hills and caves (Achebe 42).

Another female character whom they valued considerably was Ani. She was the earth goddess and the source of all fertility (Achebe 31). Every year they even held an unique event, the Banquet of the New Yam, in order to offer thanks to her. The guys would never question these females and would always listen to them and praise them, however they did the opposite and did not care what their own women had to state about anything. The women of Things break down and Segu truly had no identity of their own. They were more so known by the 2nd wife, the 3rd other half, and so on.

The status and position of their husbands was what specified them. The males would get more regard by having a big harvest, multiple partners, and many children. “There was a rich man in Okonkwo’s town who had three huge barns, nine spouses, and thirty children” (Acebe 15). In Segu, the very first other half was the only spouse that might be thought about an equal to her hubby. “However she was his first spouse, his bara muso, to whom he had actually delegated part of his authority and who could therefor address him as an equivalent” (Conde 6).

Douiska held regard for his first other half Nya since of this factor and also because she was born a Kulibaly which was royalty in Segu. She was different then most of the ladies there. Females were belittled so much throughout Things break down, particularly in the beginning when Okonkwo talks about his dad. When Okonkwo was younger he was ridiculed by others when they called his father Agbala which means guy with no title or woman (Acehebe 11). From this time on Okonkwo hated everything that his daddy enjoyed since he represented gentleness.

In the tribe the males associated anything that was of gentleness or weak point to that of women. All of the males believed that anybody without a title was weak and they were continuously compared to females. In conclusion, the way in which the authors depicted women of African culture was that the females of the Bambara and Ibo tribes were an oppressed group of people with very little power. Their primary roles in life were limited to specific things such as to nurture their children and do as they were told by their hubbies.

Unless a goddess or priestess, any other lady would have no say in anything. Only the very first wife would have any kind of equivalent power to her partner. The lady would never ever have any power in any of the decision making on behalf of the family. The male was to constantly manage his family. “No matter how thriving a guy was, if he was not able to rule his ladies and his kids (particularly his ladies) he was not actually a male” (Achebe 46). Works Cited Conde, Maryse. Segu. New York: Viking Penguin Inc., 1987. Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York City: Random House Inc., 1958.

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