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...
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