Achebe's Things Fall Apart: Re-interrogating the Gender Stereotypes in Igbo Culture

Tuhin Mukhopadhaya

Abstract


Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is a classic text in postcolonial literature, which unveils significant issues associated with the Igbo culture of Eastern Africa in a colonial environment. Since in any cultural analysis the politics of gender occupies an important position, an analysis of the present text from the perspective of gender, or the discourses constructed around gender claims an important ground, and helps to deconstruct the text beyond the conventional interpretations. The postmodern theories, and discourse analysis have been widely useful for the reinterpretation of the texts, and the postmodern condition has proven a very conducive ambience for the reinterpretation of sex and gender, rejecting any essentialistic notions of human behaviour, even making obsolete the phallocentric Freudian-Lacanian terminologies like “Penis-envy,” “Electra-complex,” etc. This paper attempts to unmask the politics behind the Male-Female gender codifications in the androcentric Igbo society, as represented in the text, and reveals the irony of “manliness” or “male superiority.” 


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