Why Does Okonkwo Kill Ikemefuna?

Okonkwo and Ikemefuna are characters from the novel Things Fall Apart by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. Okonkwo is a respected member of the Igbo community in Nigeria, while Ikemefuna is a young boy who is brought to live with Okonkwo’s family after being given as a peace offering by a neighboring village.

In the novel, Okonkwo is ultimately responsible for Ikemefuna’s death. The exact reason why Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna is not explicitly stated in the novel. However, there are several factors that may have contributed to Okonkwo’s decision.

  1. Custom and tradition: In the Igbo community, male gender roles and responsibilities are heavily emphasized. Okonkwo is a strong and respected member of the community and is known for his masculinity and bravery. When the Oracle of the Hills and the Caves declares that Ikemefuna must be killed, Okonkwo feels a sense of duty to carry out the execution.
  2. Personal feelings: Okonkwo also has personal feelings towards Ikemefuna. Despite initially being hesitant to take in Ikemefuna, Okonkwo comes to care for the boy and sees him as a son. Okonkwo’s decision to kill Ikemefuna may be influenced by the conflict between his sense of duty and his personal feelings towards the boy.
  3. Fear of weakness: Okonkwo is also driven by a fear of appearing weak or unmanly. He has a complicated relationship with his own father, who
Was this article helpful?