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Word Count: 1,194
Chinua Achebes first novel Things Fall Apart is a story about an Igbo village in the late 1800s and is one of its important men Okonkwo The story analyzes the destruction of African culture when the white man appeared Achebe writes in a style that is interpretive instead of objective and reflects the sociocultural organization existing in Africa during that era Achebe highlights the roles of women in pre-colonial Africa The female characters in the novel are major figures whose lives are not just affected by the desires of their husbands or fathers the women reciprocally affect the husband and fathers lives Igbo society emphasis is put on sex-roles stereotyping gender discrimination and the importance of masculinity and violence which result in the abuse of the females character In Igbo society patriarchy rules in every aspect of existence meaning women are excluded and men are superior Women were seen as mens property and wives came in multiple numbers Women were bought and sold into marriage and once she became a mans property she became a little more than an object The first wife of a man was paid more respect than others illustrated by the palm wine ceremony Anasi Nwakibies a big man in Umofia first wife had not arrived and the others could not drink before her 14 Women were among one of the highest distinctions for a young man along with yam barns and social titles Okoye a friend of Okonkwos father qualified for these high distinctions because he had a large barn full of yams and he had three wives And now he was going to take the Idemili title the third highest in the land 5 The yam symbolizes richness and is a sign of a great man The women of Igbo provided the workforce to harvest yams as well as tend to animals and nurture children Therefore a wealthy man has many wives and a plentiful crop of yams The
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