Why has Okonkwo been banished for seven years when he inadvertently killed Ezeudu's 16-year-old son, but not for deliberately participating and killing Ikemefuna? In both cases he violated the traditional rules of the Igbo community.

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In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is in fact banished from his community in Umuofia and forced to move his family to his mother's homeland of Mbanta after inadvertently killing a 16 year old boy. Perhaps the top reason he is banished for this act rather than deliberately slaying his adoptive son Ikemefuna is because Ikemefuna was scheduled to be killed. The village had decided that Ikemefuna must be killed as retribution. While Okonkwo is advised against participating in the boy's death and he is warned that the gods will not be pleased with Okonkwo's display of manliness, he does not actually violate any of the village's rules. Additionally, the young boy Okonkwo killed by mistake was a member of the community, whereas Ikemefuna was captured from another tribe. Therefore, Okonkwo is exiled according to Igbo tradition because he killed a member of the community and must be exiled for seven years.

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