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Word Count: 433
In exploring the notion of the individual versus the self we should notice that in Achebes Things Fall Apart a community is very important to the survival of the tribe and the people often work together for the betterment of the tribe There are also individual aspects in the Ibo society Each person has his own chi or personal god Present in Okonkwos household were the expectations of masculinity that Okonkwo held for his son Nwoye In his mind men and women are two different extremes men being stronger tougher and more controlling while women are meek thoughtless and easily dominated In keeping with the Ibo view of female nature the tribe allowed wife beating The novel describes two instances when Okonkwo beats his second wife once when she did not come home to make his meal He beat her severely and was punished but only because he beat her during the Week of Peace He beat her again when she referred to him as one of those guns that never shot When a severe case of wife beating comes before the egwugwu he found in favor of the wife but at the end of the trial one of the elders wondered I dont know why such a trifle should come before the egwugwu The husband considers his wife as a property His uncle Uchendu noticing Okonkwos distress explains how Okonkwo should view his exile A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland A man has both joy and sorrow in his life and when the bad times come his mother is always there to comfort him Thus comes the saying Mother is Supreme Possibly Umuofias degrading treatment of women and wives comes from unconscious fear of rather than reverence for the unpredictable The ending reveals that Okonko had not achieved his goals but instead by
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