Many of the texts we have read this semester call into question a kind of masculinity associated with violence, and the narrow definition of femininity that most often lives alongside this definition of masculinity. In some sense, the impact of colonization (along with its many negative sides) may create an opportunity for rethinking gender relationships. Yet at the same time, the texts we have read also point to many obstacles, within both indigenous and imperial cultures, that make changes in gender roles difficult. In “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, explore its treatment of gender. Some questions to think about: What is the critique of gender roles set out in the text, and how is it developed? What is the ideal of masculinity generated in the text? The vision of femininity or female agency? What is the relationship among gender roles, colonization, and decolonization?
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