The Role Of Ikemefuna In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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Chinua Achebe is one of Africa 's most well-known and influential contemporary writers. His first novel, Things Fall Apart, is an early description about the European colonization of Africa told from the point of view of the colonized people. Published in 1958, the novel narrates the life of the warrior and village hero Okonkwo. Like the shifting seasons of the earth, which bring new beginnings, Achebe manipulates characters throughout his novel in order to demonstrate to readers a recurring theme of change, by using Ikemefuna to indirectly characterize Okonkwo and his son Nwoye. Ikemefuna is used to help characterize others in Chinua Achebe 's novel, Things Fall Apart, as he helps develop the roles of Okonkwo and his son Nwoye. This demonstrates …show more content…
Through this indirect characterization of Okonkwo, readers see how Okonkwo has changed from his time with Ikemefuna. Achebe is manipulating Ikemefuna 's impact on Okonkwo, making him a more open, more accepting father figure. Yet. when the time for Ikemefuna 's execution arose, Okonkwo was advised by Obierika to "not bear a hand in [Ikemefuna 's] death" as Obierika often offers practical counterpoints to Okonkwo 's audacious, careless and impulsive actions (57). Here, Achebe shows readers the chance Okonkwo had to change his ways, to cease to be the "man of war" everyone knows Okonkwo as (10). Yet, Okonkwo, acting upon fear and impulse decides that, even against his closest friends wishes, he will take part in cutting down the young, innocent boy who calls him father. Achebe shows the negative impact refusing change can have on a being as this decision brings nothing but self-destruction, misery, and desolation to Okonkwo 's life; he is unable to sleep and night, constantly …show more content…
As someone who loved his mothers folk tales and legends, as opposed to the "men 's work" of the clan, Nwoye was considered irredeemably effeminate by his father, Okonkwo. Nwoye was repeatedly the object of his father 's condemnation, and because of that, it was not hard for Nwoye to find solace in his friend, brother, father; Ikemefuna. Ikemefuna made "him feel grown-up", like a man willing to go and fight for their clan, rather than the young, innocent, sensitive adolescent he truly was (52). While Nwoye still takes pleasure in his mother 's folk tales and legends, he tries to impress Okonkwo by pretending to dislike the women 's stories and by grumbling about women which, in Okonkwo 's eyes, is the very definition of masculinity. Nwoye holds Ikemefuna in high regards, actively trying to become more like him, as he see that Okonkwo credits any and all change he sees in his son, to Ikemefuna. Achebe indirectly characterizes Nwoye through his actions, showing readers the effect a source of influence can have on one 's ability to change. This is detrimental to the story, because without Nwoye 's need to please his father, Achebe 's message about change could not be seen. Okonkwo becomes more and more "inwardly pleased" as Nwoye continues to grow more hard-hitting and masculine, and he credits the growth to Ikemefuna 's good influence (52). Yet,

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