2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Gender (Im)Balance in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
Christine M. Canning
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

In Things Fall Apart (1959), by Chinua Achebe, the main character, Okonkwo, is challenged by his inability to balance his masculine and feminine principles. Okonkwo's fear of failure and weakness is the pivotal force which leads to his suppression of feminine instincts. He constructs his identity based on the masculine traits promoted by the Igbo culture, but his inability to maintain a balance between masculine and feminine elements leads to his downfall. This paper will examine Okonkwo's single-minded pursuit of a masculine ideal in contrast with the gender equilibrium necessary to maintain harmony in Igbo culture.

Keywords: Gender, Things Fall Apart, Igbo Culture, Chinua Achebe, Balance, Masculinity, Femininity

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 23-2
Location: OP 2117
Time: 10:00 am

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