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Gender Bias in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

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Qualitative research
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Descriptive Statistics
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Gender discrimination is what is prevailing in our society today. And this inequality has tremendously relegated women to the background in Africa and the world at large. This has also gone a long way affecting even our small family households as society ascribes roles that clearly limit women positions and opportunities in societies today.

To contribute to the fight or struggle to mitigate gender bias (discrimination against women), this study sets out to clearly bring out the supremacy of men and the subordination of women.

To effectively do this, the focus of this work is laid on Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart in which aspects of male chauvinistic and patriarchal attitudes and society’s acceptance of this as a natural phenomenon.

In order to carry out this work, a critical study of the novel Things Fall Apart, literary discourse and a descriptive analysis of the novel was done.

The result of this work shows that the kind of society that Chinua Achebe tries to point out in his novel is actually a reflection of our society today.




Gender issues are of tremendous importance and impact in the lives of each and every citizen of every country and every inhabitant of any community, consequently, Chinua Achebe is unhesitant to include gender issues as part of the major themes in his novel titled Things Fall Apart.

This chapter introduces the study and focuses on the background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, hypotheses, definition of terms and a general structure of the study.

Background of the study

We talk of gender bias, the prejudice relationship between a man and a woman, the role each sex plays in society. Gender plays an important role in the lives of human beings, starting at the moment of birth when they are given a blue or pink blanket and sent forward on a part that will turn them into what their culture considers proper for men or women.

In a patriarchal society, this often means that a male will lead a privileged life in which he is thought to be the standard for human experience and the female will lead a subjugated, subservient life in which she is defined only in relation to males. It forces men and women to experience life only from their point of view as men or women, not as human beings.

Gender states what a woman should do and what she should not do. Black women in the pre-colonial and colonial society were subject to silence, they did not have a say or give their opinions concerning the talk of men.

Achebe in his book, Things Fall Apart, represents women in the Ibo culture in particular and African women in general. We all know discrimination has remained one of the forms of injustices encountered by women. This can be seen with the fact that these women did not have a voice.

They were regarded as lesser human beings by men and the society itself and also they satisfied the sexual pleasures of their husbands since society qualified them as bearers of children and sustainers of family.

It is because of all this that, the study of how these women were treated with roles assigned to them at that time is important to bring out and also what they can do to improve their lifestyle.

Statement of the problem

We observed the problem of the woman’s place in African society. Some people prefer most having male children than female children, also education and authority are more made for male and not allowed for females. Women do not occupy certain positions in society as men do because they are marginalized in a way that they do not have a voice.

By so doing, women do not contribute in an effective way to the development and welfare of the society, which later affects uneducated female children, with early and forced marriages. Chinua Achebe in his book Things Fall Apart identifies the repressive action of culture towards women and shows how they are treated.

Research questions

-Why are women considered as the lesser sex?

-Why are men more favoured than women in a patriarchal society?


This study is based on the assumption: women are the lesser sex. Man and society have considered women as the weaker sex. This is because they believe that women were not brought to this world to do the duties of men that require psychological and physical strength and, so, should therefore remain bearers of children all to support the man in his existence.

Objectives and goal of the study

The objective of the study will be to give the role subscribe to women in Society. 

We are going to see how women are viewed in society. The goal of the study will be to tell how women can improve their lives by stepping at the same status as the men, all to restore their place in society, as capable women.

Gender Bias in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

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