Things Fall Apart

why did okonkwo acted the way he does after ikemafuna death

Chapter 8 page 33

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Okonkwo's fear of effeminacy and weakness drives him to actions and emotions that do not always come naturally to him. He is disturbed by the death of Ikemefuna, but he is even more disturbed that he is disturbed. Any emotion approaching tenderness or softness must be suppressed.

Obeirika, Okonkwo's good friend, shows that Okonkwo's attitudes, though influenced by culture, are not exactly typical for an Igbo man. Okonkwo, along the model of the tragic hero, is an extreme example of his people. He carries their traits to excess. Obeirika, on the other hand, is a rich man and a man of sensitivity. He was not present at the Ikemefuna's death, nor does he approve of Okonkwo's participation in the act.