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A Feminist Critique of Things Fall Apart

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1 A Feminist Critique of Things Fall Apart
Reading as a Woman A Feminist Critique of Things Fall Apart

2 Why is this important? You’re going to college, right?
It sheds new light on the story It helps us understand the world (and people) around us It makes you smarter

3 What is “Reading as a woman?”
Check out the first paragraph of our article… Approaching with a feminist lens means two things: 1. Taking female characters seriously 2. Challenging patriarchy (male domination)


5 Well, what IS gender? “…the entire female identity is based more upon societal constraints rather than physiological realities.” This is the difference between gender and sex Feminist readings are concerned with gender – expectations, roles, ideas


7 Source

8 Who’s the hero? Traditional readings portray Okonkwo as a flawed hero
But what if we put Ekwefi at the center of the story? Think: what kind of power do Igbo women have? Think: how does Ekwefi respond to setbacks? Think: how would the book be different if it was about Ekwefi, not Okonkwo?

9 There’s something about Ezinma…
Look at how the author of the article describes Ezinma… Within Igbo society, is Ezinma masculine or feminine? How does the relationship between Ezinma and Ekwefi challenge Igbo patriarchy?

10 The Big Picture A feminist reading of TFA shows us two things:
How the book’s female characters are just as important, interesting, and heroic as Okonkwo How the book’s female characters offer a challenge to patriarchy Now you know how to use this lens to examine not only books and media, but the whole world around you After all, the unexamined life…

11 Theme Group Questions Gender Does reading with this lens change your perspective on TFA? What are some problems with this lens? Can men read “as women”? Tradition & Change List some traditional ideas about masculinity/femininity in our culture. How have they changed over time? How might they change in the future? Religion How does religion influence gender roles in Igbo culture? What about in our culture? In what cases does religion help or hurt women? Fate/Destiny Think about the parts of your life that you can’t control. How many of these relate to your sex or gender identity? How do gender expectations control our lives?

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