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What can you tell about Okonkwo's character from his participation in the death of...

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haruko | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 26, 2009 at 11:40 AM via web

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What can you tell about Okonkwo's character from his participation in the death of Ikemefuna? Explain.

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 26, 2009 at 12:24 PM (Answer #1)

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Okonkwo's participation in the death of Ikemefuna shows how insecure Okonkwo still is. Okonkwo's greatest fear is that he will end up like his father, who was considered weak and died having no titles. So, Okonkwo has worked very hard to overcome the stigma attached to being the son of a man such weak "chi". Even though he is warned by Ogbuefi Ezeudu, the oldest man in the village, not to take part in the killing of Ikemefuna, Okonkwo goes ahead and kills the boy whom he had come to regard as a son. He kills him because he is still afraid others may think he is weak. This shows how deeply affected and insecure Okonkwo is over the perceived weaknesses of his father and how far he will go to cover his insecurities.

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