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The theme of masculinity in Chinua Achebes novel Things Fall Apart

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This essay discusses that Okonkwo feels that it is his obligation not to show any kind of weakness because, in his society, weakness is associated with femininity. Despite his being a kind-hearted man, Okonkwo displays his masculinity by ruling his household with a heavy hand, often beating his wives whenever they do anything to offend him. He is also seen to have a very bad temper as seen when he almost shoots Ekwefi after she insults his pride. In this society where masculinity is considered dominant, the worst insult to a man is to be called a woman. It becomes necessary for men to display their dominance constantly through displays of violence especially against the members of their own households.In conclusion, it can be said that masculinity is what defines the lives of the men in the male dominated society of Umuofia. These men are obliged to display those characteristics that are considered masculine because to do otherwise is considered a sign of weakness. Despite the fact that some men, such as Unoka, are easy going and are often happy with their lives, their lack of display of such attributes that are considered masculine ends up making them be seen as being weak. Moreover, a display of violence is one of those attributes associate with masculinity and this is the reason why the men of Umuofia believe that a man is weak if he does not display some form of violence. Therefore, it can be said that masculinity in this society is regarded as a way to which men can retain their dominance.