How was Ikemefuna killed?  


Ikemefuna is the most tragic character in the novel. He was a young lad of fifteen years of age. One day, Okonkwo sat in his obi crunching the locusts happily with Ikemefuna and Nwoye, Ezeuda, one of the most prominent men, came in and asked Okonkwo to have a word with him outside. He said, “That boy calls you father. Do not bear a hand in his death”. When Okonkwo was going to say something, he said, “Yes, Umuofia has decided to kill him. ‘The Oracle of the Hills and Caves’ has pronounced it.” 

Incidents of killing  

The next day a group of elders from all the nine villages of Umuofia came to Okonkwo’s house early in the morning. They began to talk in low tones. When they left, Okonkwo sat brooding for some time. Later in the day, he called Ikemefuna and told him that he was to be taken home. Nwoye and his mother were shocked. Ikemefuna would be glad to see his mother and sisters, but somehow, he came to know that he was not going to see them. 

The next day, the men returned with a pot of wine. Okonkwo got ready quickly, and the men set out with Ikemefuna carrying the pot of wine. Okonkwo walked behind them. Ikemefuna had a dim vision of meeting his mother and sisters. When they came near the outskirts of the village, silence fell upon them. A man behind cleared his throat. Ikemefuna looked back. The man growled at him to go on. He raised his weapon. Okonkwo looked away. He heard the blow. Ikemefuna cried, “My father, they have killed me.” He ran towards Okonkwo. Okonkwo drew his weapon and cut him down. 

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Ikemefuna had to die for the sin of his father, who had killed Udo’s wife. His death is the most pathetic scene in the novel and the most tragic incident. 

Mottaleb Hossain
Mottaleb Hossain

This is Motaleb Hossain, working on studying, a researcher on English literature and Theology.

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