Okonkwo Valued Masculinity
Okonkwo was a very well known young man, due to solid personal achievements. Achievements such as throwing Amalinze the Cat, a wrestler who was known for being undefeated for 7 years. Masculinity is something very important to him.
The importance of masculinity is shown towards the beginning of the book where Okonkwo insults a man by calling him a woman. This action of his shows how masculinity is valued when ranking people in Umuofia society. Karma eventually got to him after all his actions, such as beating people, masculinity and aggression became the reason he failed to continue be successful in society.
Since Okonkwo valued masculinity, he believed in traditional gender roles. He had two children, a son and a daughter. He wanted his son to be aggressive just like him. Turns out, he was not. He was much more fond of his daughter because of his son’s lack of masculinity. So he wish she would have been a son. Okonkwo put a lot of pressure on his son to be more aggressive, but it don’t work, in fact that pressure changes him.
Okonkwo put a lot of pressure on his son to be more aggressive because his own father wasn’t masculine or aggressive. His father, Unoka was lazy, he did not work. Okonkwo saw hard work as a masculine trait. He didn’t want to be like his father. His father’s laziness became the reason why he would work hard, he didn’t want to seem useless just like him. So he would constantly beat up his wives and children and work hard because it made him feel masculine, it also made people fear him.
Nwoye struggles with masculinity am being aggressive, so as a result he gets beat by his father (Okonkwo). He was greatly affected by the violence and repels the violence in Umuofia rituals and ends up joining the Christians. He has this trait like his grandfather Unoka. One of Okonkwo’s uncles states “ It’s true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child it seeks sympathy in it’s Mother’s Hut”. Although Nwoye knew that his father was right when it came to being masculine and violent, he still preferred the stories his mother would use to tell..”. Which clearly shows how important masculinity was to him.
Okonkwo preferred to masculine, and make people fear Him rather than to show compassion. So as a result of how his father used to be, lazy, he decided to be a hard worker and be very violent towards women and children, which made him a very well-known person. He believed that men should be masculine, so since his son wasn’t all that interested in being masculine he would beat him. His aggression ended up making him weak. Instead of dying a great leader as he was known in the beginning of the story he died in a disgraceful manner by committing suicide.
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