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Feminist Critical Theory: Things Fall Apart

A Feminist Critique of Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"

Julia Grimes

on 3 December 2012

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Transcript of Feminist Critical Theory: Things Fall Apart

Feminist Critical Theory Thesis The Feminist Critique of
Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" The Feminist Theory critiques patriarchal literature and language by identifying how they advocate masculine ideology. It examines gender politics in literature and traces the roots, status, positioning, and marginalization of masculinity and femininity. Feminist Theory To rediscover the works of female writers overlooked by a masculine-dominated culture
Understand how books from a male author reflect and shape the attitudes which have held women back Goals Beliefs In the novel "Things Fall Apart", author Chinua Achebe portrays a patriarchal society in which women are opressed and gender issues play a part in every aspect of the characters' production and experience, and determines not their sex, but their gender. Beliefs French Feminists believe language is associated with separation from the mother and represents the world from a male perspective
American Feminists examine portrayals of female characters, exposing patriarchal ideology showing the tradition of systematic masculine dominance inscribed in literature British Feminists emphasize an engagement with historical process in order to promote social change Quotes "No matter how prosperous a man was, if he was unable to rule his women and his children (and especially his women) he was not really a man." This quote greatly reflects the thesis by displaying the mindset of men in this society. It was believed that if a man was unable to hold power over his wives then he was less of a man and seen as weak. Quotes "How can a man who has killed five men in battle fall to pieces because he has added a boy to their number? Okonkwo, you have become a woman indeed.'" This quote reveals the attitude towards a sympathetic heart. It shows that feeling remorse and guilt are weak qualities only possessed by a woman Quotes "It is not bravery when a man fights with a woman." This quote embodies the attitude men had towards women. A woman is so beneath a man that it is not considered brave to fight with someone beneath you Quotes "When his wife Ekwefi protested that two goats where sufficient for the feast he told her that it was not her affair." This quote signifies the oppression of women. The opinions of women, even wives, were disregarded and they were scolded for entertaining thoughts. "That was how Okonkwo first came to know that agbala was not only another name for a woman, it could also mean a man who had taken no title. Quotes This shows the classification of a "woman" as not just a female, but a male seen as useless in their society Methods Looking at the power relationships between men and women
Analyzing what constitutes masculinity and femininity
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