Things Fall Apart: A Reinterpretation of the Women Characters
Abstract: Things Fall Apart has mostly been regarded as a ‘sexist’ text in that it portrays a phallocentric society where women are regarded as mere ‘objects’ or ‘property’ of their husbands, and we cannot but say that the portrayal is a true and honest representation of Igbo society. But an undercurrent of the writer’s endeavour to present women as individual human beings and important members of society is deducible from the very beginning of the novel, which runs in parallel with the patriarchal ideology prevalent in the society at large. One of the vital points to be argued in this regard is his portrayal of two female characters Ekwefi and Ezinma who possess strong personality and have their own ways of doing things and who even play a significant role in sustaining the family and social values. Moreover, this portrayal has further been fortified by the hero’s response towards these two women, which Achebe has conjoined with the structural design of the novel. So it is important to note how Achebe has made Okonkwo, one of the chief adherents of phallocentric ideology. recognize and appreciate the wisdom and courage of his second wife and her daughter and rely on them in his sheer needs. Similarly important is the fact that he is sustained by the female power during the most critical phase of his life–his exile to his motherland in the second part of the novel.
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Published in Fall 2009