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Chapter 7 Notes from Things Fall Apart

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Things Fall Apart Chapter 7

Ikemefuna stayed with Okonkwo's family for three years and Okonkwo saw that Nwoye was turning into a tough young man under Ikemefuna's tutelage. He hoped that with Ikemefuna's influence, Nwoye would grow into a strong, capable man who could control his women and his children. Okonkwo believed that, "No matter how prosperous a man was, if he was unable to rule his women and his children (and especially his women) he was not really a man." Part 1: Chapter 7, Pg. 45 Ikemefuna was not meant to teach Nwoye that, though, because that year Umuofia finally decided Ikemefuna's fate under the direction of Agbala. Ogbuefi Ezeudu, one of the oldest men in Umuofia, came to Okonkwo's home to warn him against having a hand in killing the boy because he called Okonkwo father.

The elders came to take Ikemefuna away and Okonkwo told the boy that he was going home. Ikemefuna was somewhat sad to leave the new family he had found, but he went along with Okonkwo and the elders. Once the group was outside Umuofia, one of the men raised his machete and struck Ikemefuna down. The boy, still living, ran toward Okonkwo saying, "'My father, they have killed me!'" Afraid of being thought weak, Okonkwo raised his own machete and finished the boy off.

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When Okonkwo returned home that night, Nwoye knew the Ikemefuna had been killed, and something inside him snapped. The feeling reminded him of the last harvest season when he and his family were returning from the fields with yams. Passing by the stream he'd heard the crying of an infant from the forest beyond the water. He'd always heard that whenever a woman gave birth to twins, they were left in earthenware pots in the forest because they were bad luck, but he'd never encountered them until then. Hearing the baby cry had given him the feeling that he was passing an evil spirit, the same way that he felt when his father returned from killing Ikemefuna.

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