Saturday, 31 October 2015

Marriage is a private affair (short story) by China Achebe

Marriage is a private affair

                                                                                 Chinua Achebe
 Write a 200 word essay on the following.
How the tribal prejudice against inter-tribe marriage was broken by the marriage of  Nnaemeka and Nene
“Marriage is a private affair” is a beautiful short story written by Chinua Achebe who is a great Nigerian novelist.  In this short story Chinua Achebe writes about the strict rules of marriage in his Ibo tribe in Africa. Inter-tribe marriage is forbidden in Ibo culture. Here Chinua Achebe presents the conflict between a young man and his father over the choice of a bride outside the Ibo tribe.

2.  Nnaemeka was young and educated. He was employed in the city of Lagos. There he fell in love with a beautiful, educated girl Nene. They wanted to get married. But Nnaemeka belonged to Ibo tribe of Africa. The tribe follows strict rules about marriage. Inter-tribe marriage is forbidden.  Even the Christian faith could not influence the tribal customs.  Both Nnaemeka and Nene are Christians. Still Nnaemeka’s father Okeke does not allow his son to marry Nene. Okeke has already fixed a girl for Nnaemeka from his own tribe. But Nnaemeka told his father that he does not love that uneducated girl in the neighbourhood. She is a stupid girl. So Nnaemeka described the good qualities of Nene who is a Christian and also a teacher. But quoting the Bible, Okeke said that a woman who is a teacher is not fit for him as a wife because St.Paul in his letter to Corinthians says that women should keep silence. Both Okeke and his son were obstinate in their decisions.

3.  Without the permission of his father, Nnaemeka married Nene and lived in the city of Lagos. Nnaemeka sent to his father his wedding photographs. Okeke cut off the picture of Nene and sent the photographs back to Nnaemeka. Nnaemeka showed his father’s letter to Nene and she was very sad. The prejudice against Nnaemeka’s marriage affected both the villages. In Lagos Nene was rejected by her own people. So she felt that she was an outcast. But she suffered her sorrow and insult silently.  Gradually people began to love her and liked her presence. Years went by.

4.  Oneday Okeke received a letter from his daughter-in law Nene. It said that Nnaemeka is the father of two sons and they wanted to see their grandfather. They could not believe that their grandfather did not want to see them. Nene said that she would remain in Lagos, but requested Okeke to allow Nnaemeka to bring his two sons home. This letter touched the innermost heart of Okeke and he changed his mind. He was eager to see his two grandsons. Thus the marriage of Nnaemea and Nene proved to the African society that marriage is a private affair. It is the unity of a man and woman who are in love and no tribal custom can stop such marriage.
1. Nnaemeka’s argument with his father       ---            2nd paragraph

2. The tribe’s attitude to the marriage            ---    1st & 2nd paragraphs

1 comment:

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