2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Fear the Female: A Look at Okonkwo's Need to Display Masculinity in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Erin M. Twenter
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is centered on Okonkwo, a man with powerful influence in his Igbo village, Umuofia, at the turn of the twentieth century in Nigeria. Okonkwo spends much of his time dwelling on the reputation of his father, whom he believes to be a disgrace due to his weak, feminine characteristics. As a result, he lives his life overpowering women and displaying his masculinity as much as possible. As he attempts to promote masculinity in himself and his sons, Okonkwo is met with times that challenge his manly demeanor. His love for both his daughter, Ezinma, and his adopted son, Ikemefuna, force him to struggle between maintaining his powerful reputation and showing his love. This paper attempts to capture and examine these moments in which Okonkwo fails to uphold his masculinity through a queer theoretical lens.

Keywords: Okonkwo, Achebe, Masculinity, Femininity, Things Fall Apart, Ikemefuna, Ezinma, Igbo

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 107-1
Location: VH 1320
Time: 8:00

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