Arrow of God
by Chinua Achebe
Arrow of God Theme of Men and Masculinity
Manhood in Igbo life is marked by stages of life – marriage, fatherhood, gaining titles, becoming an elder. A man accrues respect, rights, and power as he moves through the stages of life. Though Obika may drink too much, he is still admired as a man because he is handsome and has physical prowess. Edogo, on the other hand, is steady and dependable, but not flashy; he gets little respect from the people of Umuaro.
Questions About Men and Masculinity
- What is important to Igbo men in this novel? How do they define their manhood? What are their social obligations? What are their personal obligations?
- What is important to the British men in this novel? How do they define their manhood? What are their social obligations? Personal obligations?
- In what ways are the two definitions of masculinity – Igbo and British – the same? How are they different?
Chew on This
Even though the Englishmen and the Igbo men believe they are different, their definitions of what it means to be a man are similar.
Although it seems like the definition of masculinity is similar among the Igbo and the British, the surface similarities mask the true differences.