Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Why does Okonkwo kill Ikemefuna in Things Fall Apart? I need two good reasons.

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Matt Copeland eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I'll offer up two possibilities, neither of which I feel are exhaustive or all-encompassing, but do both coincide with his tragic flaw:

(1) Okonkwo's belief in and reliance upon tradition. When the elders decide that Ikemefuna should be killed, Okonkwo does not second guess or challenge their decision, just as he did not challenge the decision to place Ikemefuna with his family three years before. Okonkwo sees his adherence to the wishes of the village elders as part of his responsibility to his culture and tradition. We can juxtapose this to the warning of the eldest member of the village who...

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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jess1999 | Student

The two reasons why Okonkwo would kill Ikemefuna even though Ikemefuna considers Okonkwo as a father is because

1) Okonkwo was raised up with his culture and religion surrounding him. So it is most likely that if his religion tells him that something must be done, then it has to be done.

2) This reason is probably the most logical reason why Okonkwo would kill Ikemefuna is that he does not want to appear weak towards the others. He does not want the villagers to view him as a man who suddenly becomes weak and affectionate towards the boy, thus resulting in him killing Ikemefuna.

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