How does Achebe foreshadow the ultimate fate of Ikemefuna?

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Achebe foreshadows Ikemefuna's fate in the first two chapters of the novel through specific language. At the end of chapter 1, Ikemefuna is immediately introduced as a "doomed lad who was sacrificed." In the last sentence of this chapter, he is referred to as "ill-fated." The language indicates an impending tragedy with regard to Ikemefuna. In chapter 2, his story is described as "sad." Okonkwo is appointed his guardian as the clan decides what to do with him. Achebe then reveals that Ikemefuna lived with Okonkwo for three years. This last detail, combined with the description of Ikemefuna and his story, leads the reader to infer that his time with Okonkwo will be short. Also, the reader can infer that his ending will not be a happy one.

Ikemefuna's fate is one of the most difficult parts of Achebe's novel. It's not much of a mystery that Ikemefuna will come to a bad end: he's introduced as the "doomed lad" who was given to Umuofia explicitly as a sacrifice. Okonkwo's role in Ikemefuna's...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 602 words.)

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