There are many books that are rather similar in the most unexpected ways. Comparing the two books to figure out if the two works can both be better understood with the knowledge of the time and the context in which they were written. The two books that I will be trying to prove this with is “Brotherman” written by Roger Mais and “Things Fall Apart” written by Chinua Achebe. Both books have a different plot and they both are written in different scenario, but they are also similar because the characters come from the same nationality.
The roles of men and women, domestic violence and religion are all a part of the two works.
“Brotherman” was published in 1954 and the context of the story was set in Africa around the 1950s. “Things Fall Apart” was published in 1958 and the context of the story was set in Nigeria in the 1880s. The two books, “Brotherman” and “Things Fall Apart” both share the same struggles.
Roles of men and women were portrayed in both stories, like in “Things Fall Apart” the role of a woman was that she is supposed to provide every meal of the day, have kids, and do what they were told for their husband. However, the roles of men were that they were demanding and held meetings to discuss certain problems within their tribe. In “Brotherman,” the roles of the women were that they are supposed to get the groceries, cook for the men, and help them with their problems by talking to them.
The roles of men were that they would do drugs and they were bossy towards other women.
Domestic violence takes place in both stories, like in “Things Fall Apart” Okonkwo has five wives and he ended up beating two of them. When Okonkwo came home one evening his wife wasn’t home and the food was not made, so he was upset and when she came back home he beat her. His second wife was cutting branches off the banana tree and he thought she cut it off, so he beat her. Also, with his second wife, he went out shooting and almost shot her because of a comment she made. In “Brotherman” there was a couple, Papacita and Girlie, and Papacita would beat Girlie daily because he was a drunk and if Girlie made a comment he did not like, he would beat her up. There was one time when an old lady got thrown into the gutter by random men just because she was an older lady, who could not really defend herself
Religion was incorporated in the two books because in “Things Fall Apart” they believed in one main god, followed by multiple other gods. They believed in certain things like if the women gave birth to twins, they would leave them in the forest like a sacrifice or offering to their gods. However, when the white men came they built Christian churches and turned the heads of some people of the tribes surrounding them because the people of the church told them god would forgive them even if they gave birth to twins. In “Brotherman’ their religion was mostly focused more on spirituality, so they would meditate and have some time to themselves to do self-evaluations. The people in “Brotherman” had one person guide them through these different exercises to help them focus on their spiritual aspects and help them find themselves more to understand who they were a little better.
The two books were both written in a different time, so in the time there were the characters in the two separate books that didn’t have phones or cars and not really anything we have today. The books were written in another era where things were done by hand or letters which was their only known form of communicating long distantly, and most kids would end up working when they reached the age six or seven. There was also a difference in religion during this time, like in “Things Fall Apart” because of how the tribe was afraid their gods would punish them for going to the Christian Church or that they would be punished for breaking any rules which their tradition applied to. Also, in “Brotherman” they believed that if they weren’t more spiritual then they would have a harder time passing onto the next world when they died. Despite the great difference between both books, religion was still very important in both the two stories because of their individual beliefs.
In the two texts, both of them were written in a different time which would help us have a better understanding of the book itself. It helps because the little things in the books give us different clues on what we are reading about and about the time it was supposed to be based in. For example, in “Things Fall Apart” there are different examples in the book such as it is discussing how they were a tribe which lived in Africa. Although some people who began to believe that the book was probably written at the same time it was published, since Africa it has some tribes that were already living there. But it’s the fact that it also mentions a reformation of the tribe for them to become Christians. This means that it must have been written in a different time period because if the white men were still going around the world trying to reform certain tribes that were still worshipping their own gods and following their own traditions. “Brotherman” on the other hand, was written in the same time it was published so in that case most people found the book to be more relatable because of the struggles that were taken place in that time society.
Overall, roles of men and women, religion, and domestic violence all give examples in the book of the present but also the past. It gives examples of these aspects to help us understand the book of what time it was written in by the wording in the text. Also knowing the place where the story is taking place gives us more of an idea of what we will be reading. In conclusion the two books, “Things Fall Apart” and “Brotherman”, help us better understand them, if we have the knowledge of the context and the time because it makes the two books either relatable or it helps us better understand what happened in the former years that it was written.