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Arrow of God

Arrow of God

by Chinua Achebe

Men and Masculinity Theme

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

  1. 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?
  2. What is important to the British men in this novel? How do they define their manhood? What are their social obligations? Personal obligations?
  3. In what ways are the two definitions of masculinity – Igbo and British – the same? How are they different?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

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.

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