Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does the killing of Ikemefuna foreshadow the fall of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart?

Expert Answers info

Carter Westfall eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookB.A. from University of the Western Cape, South Africa


calendarEducator since 2014

write1,246 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Ikemefuna had been placed in Okonkwo's care after it had been decided that another village, Mbaino, had to offer up a young virgin and a young boy as compensation for the killing of Ogbuefi Ujo's wife when she went to market there. Ikemefuna, who was fifteen at the time, lived in Okonkwo's care for three years before it was decided that he had to be executed.

Ezeudu had asked Okonkwo not to be involved in Ikemefuna's execution, but when the men came to take Ikemefuna, Okonkwo accompanied them. When they were far outside of the village, one of the men struck Ikemefuna, but the blow did not kill him. Ikemefuna cried out, "My father, they have killed me!" and Okonkwo, out of fear, struck him down. He was afraid that the men would think him a coward if he did not do so.

This fear is born out of Okonkwo's pride . He always had to prove himself a man and his harsh actions towards his family and others spoke volumes of...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 508 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

lsumner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,184 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial