Marriage Is A Private Affair By Chinua Achebe Analysis

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“‘I Can’t-we must-I mean it is impossible for me to marry Nweke’s daughter.’ ‘Impossible? Why?’ asked his father. ‘I don’t love her.’ ‘Nobody said you did. Why should you?’ he asked.” This following conversation takes place between Nene and his father in a rural town in Nigeria within the fictional story of “Marriage Is a Private Affair.” The following short story, written by Chinua Achebe, features young Nene and his adventures in the conflict between tradition and progression in the concept of arranged marriage. Although incomprehensible to many young Americans, arranged marriage is common throughout the world and its pros and cons will be examined along with the impact that it has on Nene’s relationship with his father throughout the acclaimed…show more content…
In the short story, Nene and his girlfriend, Nnaemeka, face a clash between progressive and conservative views as Nene’s father questions his son’s choice of marrying a woman outside of their tribe, a concern that would eventually challenge the relationship between Nene and his father. This shift in relationship is firstly depicted in the story as Nene is reluctant to mention the idea of custom marriage to his father and girlfriend, which is exemplified by the following conversation between Nene and Nnaemeka. Nene says, “You have lived in Lagos all your life, and you know very little about people in remote parts of the country...Yes, they are most unhappy if the engagement is not arranged by them. In our case it’s worse- you are not even an Ibo” (Acebe 1). Here Nene is nervous to talk with his father about marriage whereas Nnaemeka is convincing him otherwise about his reluctancy. In addition to being nervous about opening up his feelings with his father, Nene faces a second difficulty as his father openly refuses to accept his decision to marry Nnaemeka. His father denies to accept the offering and tries to convince him otherwise, but then takes on an aggressive stance as illustrated by the following quote, “‘I can’t have you in my house,’ he replied on one occasion. ‘It can be of no interest to me where or how you spend your leave-or your life, for that matter.’” It is clear from the following that Nene’s father has no intention nor desire in following through in his son’s desires. Ultimately, as seen by the following quotes, Nene’s father sees the future in his eyes as a continuation of the past, a concept that Nene and hundreds of others around the world fail to grasp as the
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