Essay on The Real Meaning of Marriage

708 Words3 Pages
Picture your parents choosing the person you had to be married to. Many years

ago arranged marriages were a huge part of the African and Chinese culture. This

caused much tension between parents and their children. The practicing of arranged

marriages were lost over time. This caused parents to feel betrayed by their

children, when they married whom they desired. In the two stories “Marriage is a

Private Affair” and “Love Must Not Be Forgotten,” the main characters face

challenges’ involving their arranged marriages.

In “Marriage is a Private Affair,” Nnaemeka, the son of Okeke, falls in love with a

woman named Nene, who was not his suitor. (The person his father picked for him)

Okeke felt betrayed because of his
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The following story “Love Must Not Be Forgotten,” Shanshan, the narrator,

encounters having to make the decision about marrying her suitor or not. Shanshan

is engaged to a handsome man named Qiao Lin but she doesn’t love him. As she

thinks about what her marriage would be like with Qiao Lin, and realizing they

might never love each other, she remembers a conversation her mother, Zhong Yu,

and her had before her mother passed away. Her mother told her, “Shanshan, if you

aren’t sure what you want, don’t rush into marriage- better live on your own!”

Shanshan asked Zhong Yu why she never remarried after she and her husband

separated. Zhong Yu tried leading Shanshan to think that she never really knew

what she wanted. Though Shanshan did not believe her mother she left it alone.

Years passed and Shanshan’s mother died, Zhong Yu’s last words were asking that

Shanshan would cremate her favorite books and her diary. Shanshan did burn the

books but did not with the diary. When Shanshan read the diary she realized her

mother’s diary was full of an “anguished, loving heart,” for a man that held her heart

for more than twenty years. As Shanshan started to piece together her mother’s

story she came to understand that her mother’s lover had died. Her mothers last

passage in her diary was about being reunited with her love.

Shanshan
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