What did Okonkwo bring home from his trip to Mbaino?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Okonkwo brings home two humans from his trip. Both serve as some kind of recompense for a crime committed against Umuofia by the people of Mbaino. One person he brings back is a young woman. She will marry Ogbuefi Udo, whose wife was murdered while shopping in Mbaino.

The other is a 15-year-old boy named Ikemefuna. He will play a vital role in the novel. At first, he is terrified. He has been taken from his homeland, ripped from his family, & he is now turned over to Okonkwo. Ikemefuna's fate is uncertain: he belongs to the clan, but they must wait until the oracle decries his fate. Thus, he moves in with Okonkwo's family.

Ikemefuna soon proves a positive addition to the household. Okonkwo is happy because Ikemefuna is more like a son to him than his own, and he teaches Nwoye how to be more manly in Okonkwo's eyes. Nwoye is happy, because Ikemefuna treats him like a brother. He knows stories Nwoye's never heard, he can trap animals, he knows how to hunt: all these things impress Nwoye to no end. Yet this happiness will soon end. The oracle eventually reveals Ikemefuna's fate. It is an act that will change the course of the novel, & the characters' lives.

Read the study guide:
Things Fall Apart

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