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Race Essay

  • Submitted by: gogorogo23
  • on November 18, 2013
  • Category: History
  • Length: 1,766 words

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Below is an essay on "Race" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Female Importance in Igbo Culture

One question we always ask ourselves when looking at foreign cultures is: Which gender plays a more critical role in how the culture functions? In the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, a main topic of discussion is obviously the influence of British colonialism and Christian missionaries on the Igbo community during the late nineteenth century. But there is an underlying theme that plays a critical role in the formation of the story. That theme is gender, as well as it being manifested in the protagonist, Okonkwo’s, through his aggression and fear against femininity. The Igbo have a patriarchal society and view any weakness in a person as a sign of femininity. Women may have been portrayed as inferior to men in Umofia, but their roles in the society were very crucial to the function of everyday life in Igbo society. Even though it is clear that the Igbo have a patriarchal society, Achebe draws attention to the feminine side of society to stress. This is done not only to express femininity’s importance and fundamentality in Umuofia, but because of its omnipotent presence and women’s involvement in virtually every aspect of Igbo life from law to religion. Even though masculinity is seen as the driving force in Igbo culture, I do believe that femininity play’s a very central role in their culture as displayed in Chinua Achebe’s book due to their roles in religion and education.
One area where we see femininity being central to Igbo culture is in the religious sector and the roles the women have in it. In the book it seems that women routinely perform the role of priestess. The narrator recalls that during Okonkwo's childhood, "the priestess in those days was woman called Chika. She was full of the power of her god, and she was greatly feared" (Achebe, 14). The present priestess during Oknonkwo’s adulthood is Chielo, the priestess of the goddess Agbala and the Oracle of the hill and the Caves. In the book there is scene in...

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