How Does the Writer Create Tension and Convey Sympathy for Ikemefuna in This Passage from the Novel?

1228 words 5 pages
How does the writer create tension and convey sympathy for Ikemefuna in this passage from the novel?

In his novel, Things Fall Apart, Achebe interconnects and associates events that occur in Umuofia with emotions and feelings that hint at what is to come. A prime example of this is Achebe’s use of literary techniques in chapter seven, that create tension and convey sympathy for Ikemefuna and conclude in his tragic death. At the beginning of the novel, we find out that Ikemefuna has been given up to the Ibo tribe as a sacrificial compensation in order to prevent a war. Before the council has decided Ikemefuna’s fate, he is sent to live with Okonkwo’s family, and during the period of three years, Ikemefuna
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Furthermore, Achebe expresses that Ikemefuna instinctively knows that he is not returning home, and that another calamity is to arise. A combination of Ikemefuna’s intuition and doubt both generate a sense of tension and sympathy from the readers because the ending results are not known definitely, however an imposing sense of disaster is expressed. Additionally, the tragic fate that awaits Ikemefuna is suggested by Nwoye’s mother’s sighing of, “Poor child”, when Nwoye tells her that Ikemefuna is to return to his own home the next day. As the men and Ikemefuna embark on their journey, Achebe says that “A deathly silence descended on Okonkwo’s compound. Event he very little children seemed to know. Throughout that day Nwoye sat in his mother’s hut and tears stood in his eyes.” This shows the feeling of sadness that looms over Okonkwo’s family, which creates sympathy by expressing that Ikemefuna’s imminent fate is unjust. Furthermore, the “deathly silence” also implies Ikemefuna’s death. The silence not only affects Okonkwo’s compound, but is shared by the men as the reach the outskirts of the village. However, at the beginning of the journey the men talk and laugh in a light mood, yet this quickly turns into overwhelming


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