Ikemefuna’s Death In Things Fall Apart

Ikemefuna’s Death In Things Fall Apart

In the killing of Ikemefuna, lots of aspects of Okonkwo’s character is exposed. I understood that despite Okonkwo’s hard outside, he is really insecure, continuously fretted about individuals’s perception of him. Likewise, through this, we see the softer side of Ok, which is his issue for Ikemefuna, a sensation which he continuously tries to suppress. Lastly, Okonkwo’s stubbornness and his unquestioning commitment to the tribe is likewise appeared. Firstly, the killing of Ikemefuna exposes that Okonkwo is an insecure person.

When Ogbuefi Ezeudu visited Okonkwo with news that the “Umuofia has decided to kill (Ikemefuna)”, he particularly advised Okonkwo to “not bear a hand in his death”. However, due to the fact that Okonkwo hesitated of “being thought of as weak”, he eliminated Ikemefuna. In my viewpoint, this was most likely done out of worry that if he did not do so, he would be considered “effeminate” and therefore had to eliminate Ikemefuna in order to show his manliness.

Ikemefuna In Things Break Down

This leads me to conclude that Okonkwo is extremely concerned about how people in the clan perceived him so he continuously attempts to be manly by not showing any indications of weaknesses. Next, this event exposes Okonkwo’s softer side, which is his issue for his kids. After receiving news of the tribe’s choice to eliminate Ikemefuna, Okonkwo “sat still for a very long time” hence revealing his inner dispute in choosing whether or not to kill Ikemefuna. On one hand he cares excessive for Ikemefuna to eliminate him, but on the other, does not wish to be looked upon as weak.

Furthermore, after Ikemefuna’s death, it was apparent that Okonkwo was deeply impacted as he “did not taste any food for 2 days” and “did not sleep at night”, considering Ikemefuna. To me, therefore, this highlights that Okonkwo has a feminine side to him, and I feel that he in reality cares a lot for his kids, and was extremely guilty for eliminating Ikemefuna, the surrogate son whom he had previously grown “extremely keen on”. Additionally, this occasion reveals Okonkwo’s persistent character. A wise elderly guy, Ogbuefi Ezeudu had actually warned Okonkwo to have “nothing to do with” the killing of Ikemefuna.

In spite of these words of caution coming from a senior who was wiser and knew much better, Okonkwo disobeys them and “cuts (Ikemefuna) down” anyway. In doing so, he had actually even come close to breaking a tribal law by eliminating a kinsman. In my viewpoint, this event hence highlights Okonkwo’s stubbornness that absolutely nothing would deter him from what he feels he requires to achieve. To me it is apparent that his persistent character is quite due to his worry of being viewed as weak, and thus to the degree that he defies orders from an older.

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