Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Chapter 7 Summary and Analysis

Ikemefuna has been living with Okonkwo's family for three years. He has been a good influence on Nwoye, Okonkwo's eldest son, whom Okonkwo thinks weak. Though Nwoye shows definite improvement, he stills dislikes the thought of bloodshed and prefers the folktales that his mother used to tell him about the Earth and the Sky and their heated quarrel. Then one day locusts come to Umuofia, and the villagers go out every night to collect cicadas and roast them for snacks.

This event is immediately followed by the bad news that Ikemefuna will be sacrificed, according to the will of Agbala. Ogbuefi Ezeudu informs Okonkwo of this, warning him not to have a hand in Ikemefuna's death, because it would be wrong, given that the boy calls him "father." Okonkwo lies to Ikemefuna, telling him that he's to be taken back to his village of Mbaino. During the long journey to his homeland, Ikemefuna is surprised when some of the men in their group attempt to kill him. He runs to Okonkwo for help, crying, "My father, they have killed me!" But Okonkwo strikes him down for fear of looking weak.

That night, Okonkwo returns to the village, and Nwoye knows, just by looking at the expression on his face, that Ikemefuna is dead. Something snaps inside Nwoye then, and he will never truly forgive his father.


Earth and Sky.  Nwoye's mother tells stories and folktales about the natural world and their gods. In one of these, Earth and Sky, personified as characters with unique and...

(The entire section is 507 words.)