Things Fall Apart


How does Ikemefuna illustrate that manliness does not preclude gentleness and affection

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Ikemefuna is a gentle boy yet has the "manly" traits that Okonkwo looks for in a boy. I think that Ikemefuna senses Okonkwo's anamosity towards his birth son Nwoye for being "womanly". Ikemefuna tries to help Nwoye as much as he can to gain the respect of his father. He feels for Nwoye and, rather than take his place, wants to be a brother to him.