Ikemefuna Essay

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Ikemefuna Character Analysis Ikemefuna is a fifteen-year-old boy from a neighboring clan, Mbaino, who is given up to Umuofia as a sacrifice for killing one of the women of Umuofia. He lives with Okonkwo’s family for three years before the elders order him to be killed. In those three years, he grows very close to Okonkwo's family, especially Nwoye. Okonkwo even prefers him to his true son Nwoye, considering Ikemefuna to be a promising, hard-working young man. His murder, in which Okonkwo takes a part, haunts Okonkwo throughout the book. From the very beginning, Ikemefuna is the ultimate victim; his fate is completely out of his control since he is taken away by his family so early in life for a crime which he had no part in, nor any knowledge of. In his new life, Ikemefuna is subject to the whims of his new father and the Umuofia elders, in whose hands his fate ultimately lies. Ikemefuna is a prime example of how Okonkwo’s fear of being like his father – feminine and cowardly – drives him to make a poor, regrettable decision. He joins in killing Ikemefuna because he is afraid of being weak, yet he is haunted by his decision and it also permanently emotionally distances him from Nwoye. Ikemefuna Timeline and Summary * After a woman of the Umuofia tribe is killed at Mbaino village’s market, the Mbaino tribe offers Ikemefuna to Umuofia as recompense for their crime. Ikemefuna comes to Umuofia during the Week of Peace. * Ikemefuna is put under Okonkwo’s care indefinitely (until the elders of Umuofia decide what to do with him) and lives with Okonkwo’s family for three years. * Ikemefuna is initially intimidated by Okonkwo’s family, but as the years pass, he grows into a lively, well-liked boy. * Ikemefuna becomes great friends with Nwoye and exerts a masculine influence over the younger boy. * When the decree comes that Ikemefuna must die,
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