Literary Essay Sample: Power and Family in "Things Fall Apart"

Published: 2022-04-25
Literary Essay Sample: Power and Family in "Things Fall Apart"
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Things Fall Apart Historical literature Family drama
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 556 words
5 min read

According to Chinua Achebe "Things Fall Apart," an ideal family is formed by mutual respect and Unity. Father is deemed to be the head of the family and ought to give protection to his members in addition to providing for them. On the other hand, the mother is tasked with the responsibility of bringing up healthy children and ensuring that she pleases the man. Similarly, children are meant to be the inheritors of the future to ensure the continuation of the older generation. The theme of Power and Family is well demonstrated in Chinua Achebe's book "Things Fall Apart".

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First, the father is portrayed as the head of the family. Man is given powers such that he is believed that he can handle all the things without the help of a woman. For example, he character Okonkwo in the book is the supreme of his family. Thus power appears to be vital in the society whereby men use it to make their distinctiveness. Furthermore, Power is not only at the individual level but at the society level. Okonkwo's father illustrates the physical power through defeating the Amalinze the cat in a wrestling completion while Ogbuefi Ezeudu the great warrior demonstrates the structural power at the society level which accords him respect in the whole society. Failure to show Power, a man loses his identity both at his home and in the society. Hence, the man must be powerful in his family.

Additionally, Women are subject to the man and owe a duty to their children. Women are essential to the family. Foremost, they owe respect to their husbands. On the other hand, men ought to respect women for a happy family. For example, the relationship between Okonkwo and his daughter Ezinma is disqualified for the reason that she is a female. Furthermore, Okonkwo beats up one of his three wives of which is forbidden. Lack of respect for the women leads to family disputes. The primary role of women is to bear children and bring them up healthy. The mistakes Okonkwo does show the power and the importance of family relationships in Igbo life, and if not respected, one may find themselves in problems.

Finally, children are subject to the father and mother. In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo attempts to teach Nwoye the traditional ways of his people. He goes further to make his son ulike Okonkwo's father. However, Nwoyo did not want to follow his father such that he disregards his father. Nwoyo wants to be a man of his own. Consequently, Nwoyo hopes of a better life through joining Christianity. The move Nwoyo takes, makes his father feel dishonored and he looks at his son as his father did. Loss of power is portrayed as Nwoyo joins Christianity and his father seems to have lost control over his family.

All in all, Power and Family in Things Fall Apart is significant. Chinua Achebe shows how the head of the family should have control over his family. The head should provide for the family and offer protection to them. Okonkwo is seen to be the head of his family while the woman and children are perceived to be subjects for an ideal family failure to which Things Fall Apart. Therefore, the theme of Power and family is central in Things Fall Apart.

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