In the time of imperialism and when the Europeans came to the African, tribes after year they still fought their way of culture by standing their ground. “Black men struggle with masculinity so much. The idea that we must always be strong really pressured us all down- it keeps us from growing (BrainyQuotes). ” In the Igbo culture the men are the center of that makes the theme of the book masculinity. They are the ones who farm, take care of their wifes and Masculinity is presented in the way they do their traditional activities, how Okonkwo acts towards his family and others and how they reacts to situations.
Traditional ceremonies are a big part of masculinity in the Igbo culture. A ceremony they do is when a young man is old enough he will inherit his father’s farm to start off their life on their own. Even though how successful a man is not all have the same start based on this quote from Things Fall Apart, “Okonkwo didn’t have the start like in life which many young men usually had. He did not inherit a farm from his father. ” Pg. 16 A man is only as strong as their father, but not all have a high titled father to give them a boost up in the society.
This tradition shows how strong the father is and how that will translate into the son. A ceremony that takes place everyday is the kola nut ceremony. A kola nut is presented in the house of a person who is being visited and this quote shows how sacred the tradition is, “Take away your kola nut. I shall not eat it in the house of a man who has no respect for our gods and ancestors. ” Pg. 30 This quote means that a man has disrespected their gods and ancestors and the kola nut shouldn’t be opened around someone who has disrespected their culture and someone apart of their clan, especially during the week of peace.
The kola nut is sacred to the villagers of Umuofia because the number of nuts inside can tell if the visit will be good and bring luck or the visit will be bad and bring harm. As also being a great wrestler brings good fortune for them and their village. If a man is a great wrestler he has high titles and famous all over the nine villages, ” Once in awhile young two men carrying palm fronds ran round the circle and kept the crowd back by beating the ground in front of them, if they were stubborn, their legs and feet. ” Pg. 7 This quote means that a wrestling event with the top new boys that people watch in anticipation to see who will become a man and the next amazing wrestler. Wrestling is something people in all villages know about because it is based on strength and shows that a boy is now a man. These traditions also reflected how Okonkwo rules his house. Okonkwo is an overall manly man and runs his house with a tight leash and heavy fist. Okonkwo likes things to go his way all the time and has harsh punishments. He wants his wife’s to take care of him by feeding him when he wants, “And when he returned he beat her very heavily.
In his anger he had forgotten that it was the Week of Peace. ” Pg. 29 This quote means Okonkwo can her very anger easily when he doesn’t get what he wants, men in the village take control to look manly and in charge of his house. If a man can’t take control and be in charge he looks weak and is considered to be acting like a women. He control his house on a tight leash for his boys to turn onto men and his daughter to turn into wife’s for successful men. He liked a boy who wasn’t apart of his house or even his village, “As soon as his father walked in, that night.
Nwoye knew that Ikemefuna has been killed, and something seemed to give way inside him, like the snapping of a tightened bow. He did not cry. He just hung limp. ” Pg. 61 This quote means that he loved this boy than his own son working in his house and even on his farm, but also helped Nwoye be more of a man. Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna to show the men in his clan with higher titles he doesn’t have any sort of feeling towards this boy who was meant to be killed, so he killed him to stay being masculine. After the experience with the boy, he wants to be seen as the brave soldier he once was.
Okonkwo takes big measures to stay on top of the society,” It’s not bravely when a man fights with a woman. ” Pg. 93 This quote means the same thing every time, that beating and punishing a woman is never going to prove anything to anyone, but that the man is not the leader people thought he was. Okonkwo want his house to run the way he thinks it should and how a strong man, unlike his father, should be, so he tried to be so different from his father in every way, so he acts manly with no feeling to show.
How Okonkwo rules his house is a way how he reacts to situations too. The ways Okonkwo mainly, but also the men, in the village react to situations are to show they are manly in everything they do. In the situation with Ikemefuna the men there are all of a high title and they need to do what they were assigned to do. They do things to be seen as the brave leaders no matter how much it will hurt, “You, who are known in all nine villages for your valor in war? How can a man who has killed five men in war falls to pieces because he has added a boy to his number?
Okonkwo, you have became a woman indeed. ” Pg. 65 This quote means that Okonkwo tried everything to be a man, for his village and elders around him and when he shows any emotions others think he is weak. The other man who Okonkwo talks to knows how he reacted to the killing and tries to do other things to look masculine. Okonkwo handles situations in his house very bad which creates worse situations. His temper puts him in bad places,” Okonkwo’s gun had exploded and a piece of iron had pierced the boy’s heart. ”
Pg. 14 Okonkwo had a tiff with one of his wifes and used the gun that never shot straight and reacted violently to any mistakes his wifes make. He protects and helps his family when something is wrong. He went with his wife to make sure his daughter was ok,” A strange and sudden weakness had descended on Ekwefi as she stood gazing in the direction of the voices like a hen whose only chick had been carried away like a kite. ” Pg. 102 This quote is about how Okonkwo will help and take care of his wifes and children when things get bad for them.
He is the man of the house and this is where his masculinity shines through because he is going to all ends to help his family. Okonkwo reacts well to his exile. He was working on getting back to his own village,” He had been ruled by a great passion-to become one of the lords of the clan. That had been his life-spring. And he had all but achieved it. Then everything had been broken. He had been cast out of his clan like a fish onto a dry, sandy beach. ”
Pg. 31 Okonkwo from day one had tried his best to keep things under control and to make sure when he goes back home he can start in the same place. He works hard in bad situations to make things better and back to normal. In all of these situations Okonkwo does everything to still be seen as manly and tries to reacted as well as he can to fix and make things right again. The theme of the book is developed through the tradition of the clan, how Okonkwo runs his house and how he reacts to situations that happened through his time in the book.