Essay on 'Marriage Is a Private Affair' by Chinua Achebe

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’Marriage is a private affair’ – by Chinua Achebe
‘Marriage is a private affair’ is a short story written by Chinua Achebe, in the year 1952. The story takes place in Lagos in Nigeria in the 1950ies. The most important point in this story is the cultural and religious differences between Nene and Nnaemeka’s families. Therefor the main theme of the text is the clash between two cultures. The text is also dealing with other subthemes such as, love, arranged marriage, father and son relationship (Nnaemeka’s respect for his father) and of course family. The title of the story says a lot, because it pretty much sums up the message of the story. Chinua Achebe is with his story trying to point out that marriage is a private affair, and no one
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Nnaemeka decides to tell his father about Nene when he gets home, after having spent 6 whole weeks with her in Lagos. Nene suggested him to write his father a letter, in which he could tell him about their relationship, but Nnaemeka respects his father too much to tell him by letter. (p.1 l.25).
On his way home, Nnaemeka is thinking about how he is going to confront his father. The fact that he cares so much about his father’s reaction tells us that he has great respect for his father. We even see that he at one point feels kind of bad for his father, who has put an effort into finding a girl for him. This respect is also reflected in the conversation between Nnaemeka and his father. Nnaemeka finds it hard to tell his father about the situation with Nene, especially because of his father’s lack of understanding of which we see several examples through the text. A very good example is on page 2, line 14, when Nnaemeka wants to talk with his father about “the marriage question” and his father replies “Which marriage question?”. In this quote we see that in the father’s opinion Nnaemeka has no other option than to marry Ugoye, nothing needs to be discussed. Nnaemeka on the other hand, finds it impossible to marry someone that he does not love, but when he tells his father that he does not love Ugoye, he simply answers, “Nobody said you did. Why should you?”(p.2 l.19) at this point his father makes it clear that
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