Masculine Gender in Things Fall Apart

...Start of the Masculine Gender in Things Fall Apart...

Okonkwo struggled his entire life with his perception of manliness. Societal expectations and norms of power, strength, and achievement were only reinforced and amplified by his loathing for his father's laziness and "womanly qualities" such as compassion, warmth, and cowardice in war. This defiance to become the opposite of everything his father was created internal and external conflict that led to Okonkwo's eventual doom. Okonkwo's angry and power-hungry personality stems from experiencing the affects of his father's failure in life. Unoka, Okonkwo's father, "was lazy and improvident and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow" (2937).

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He held fatherly love, especially for Ikemefuma, an orphan boy, and his daughter, Enzima. "Even Okonkwo himself became very fond of the boy—inwardly of course" (2948). When Enzima was taken to the mountain by the priestess, he followed and waited because he loved her and was concerned for her safety. When Enzima was sick, he stayed over her all night and helped her to get better with natural medicines he knew. Unfortunately, Okonkwo's softer side was completely overpowered by his drive to become the most powerful, successful, and respected man in his tribe.

...End of the Masculine Gender in Things Fall Apart...

The hatred that Okonkwo felt towards his father in childhood began a long road of anger and defiance of any compassion and eventually led Okonkwo to lose all hope and seal his own doom. He had made it his life's goal to gain control over not only his own life, but also those under his stewardship. When the dream of building up power, becoming a head elder, working hard to grow the biggest crops, and having and being everything his father did not have or was not failed, Okonkwo did not know what to do. So, instead of accepting the fact that his ideal world was falling apart, Okonkwo decided to leave it behind and ended his own life. *We were not allowed to use any outside sources besides the book Things Fall Apart.

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