Marriage is a Private Affair Summary Notes

Marriage is a Private Affair Author

Chinuva Achebe (1930-2013) is one of Africa’s most famous contemporary authors: A member of the Ibo people of eastern Nigeria, Achebe was bom in the village of Ogidi, where his father taught at a Christian mission school. As a child, Achebe learned both Ibo and English, the language in which he usually writes. In addition to novels and short stories, Achebe has written children’s books, essays, and poetry. Commenting on what made him con¬sider becoming a writer, Achebe stated, “I read some appalling European novels about Africa… and realized that our story could not be told for us by anyone else.”

Marriage is a Private Affair Summary

“Marriage is a Private Affair” is a short story by the world-renowned Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe. It was first published in 1952 under the title, ‘The old order in conflict with the new”, in the ‘University Herald’ of University College, Ibadan, Nigeria, where Achebe was a student.

The story is set in a village in Lagos, the former capital city of Nigeria. It focuses on a conflict between a father and son who belong to the Ibo community, one of Nigeria’s largest ethnic groups. The Ibo ?s follow the traditional practices, such as choosing spouses for their children. The story is about Nnaemeka, a young man who has moved to Lagos, a large and ethnically diverse city. Nnaemeka falls in love with Nene Atang, a young woman, who is not from the Ibo community and decides to marry her. His father disapproves of the match as it is not the custom for Ibos to marry outside their own ethnic group. Achebe dramatizes the conflict between tradition and modernity in Nigeria in the 20th century.

The story begins with Nnaemeka, visiting his girlfriend, Nene Atang, in her room at 16 Kasanga street in Lagos. They recently got engaged to each other. Nene asks Nnaemeka if he had written to his father to inform him of their engagement. Nnaeneka tells her that he had been pondering over it and thinks that it is wise to wait to inform him in person when he visits his village during his vacation in about six weeks. He confesses to Nene that he is apprehensive that his father, Okeke would not be pleased about their engagement. Nene is surprised to hear this but protests that his father would surely be happy with the news of their engagement. Nnaemeka tells her that since she has lived in Lagos all her life, she doesn’t know the traditional practices of the Ibo’s, which are still followed by the people who live in the villages.

Nene cannot believe that people will be unhappy because their sons were engaged to marry. Nnaemeka explains to her that they would be unhappy if the engagement was not arranged by them. Moreover, in their case, it was objectionable as Nene didn’t even belong to the Ibo community. Nene was speechless. Being brought up in a cosmopolitan city, she considered it a joke, if a person’s tribe could determine whom he married. She cannot believe that Nnaemeka’s lather would oppose the marriage

for such a silly issue. She thought the Ibo’s were accommodative toward people of other tribes. Nnaemeka confirms that the Ibo’s were certainty accommodative but not in the case of marriage. This custom was not a peculiarity among the Ibos. He tries to pacify her saying that even her father would have acted similarly if he lived among the Ibo’s. But still, Nene argues that Nnaemeka should write to his father about the engagement because she feels that he will forgive them, as he is very fond of his son. But Nnaemeka is unsure and insists that it would be better to wait until he can inform his father in person, rather than writing him a letter because his father would surely be shocked at the news.

Nene reluctantly agrees. As Nnaemeka walked home that evening he ponders over the different ways of persuading his father to agree to the marriage, when his father had already chosen a bride for him. A few days before his father had written to him informing him that he had found a suitable bride for him. He thought of showing the letter to Nene but had second thoughts about it. He read the letter again after he got home. He couldn’t help smiling to himself when he recalled the girl, Ugoye, an Amazon (tall, strong woman) of a girl, who used to beat up boys including him.

She was not a bright student at school. In the letter, his father had written that he had found a suitable girl who would suit him admirably. The girl was Ugoye Nweke, the eldest daughter of their neighbor, Jacob Nweke. Like Nnaemeka’s family, Ugoye is a Christian and her father – a man of good judgment. She was trained by the pastor’s family to be a perfect wife and she could read the Bible fluently. Nnaemeka’s father hoped to begin negotiations when he returned home in December.

A day after, returning to his village, Nnaemeka and his father were sitting under a cassia tree. Nnaemeka suddenly broaches up the subject of his marriage and begs his father to forgive him as it was impossible for him to marry Ugoye. His father was curious to know why he was not interested in Ugoye. Nnaemeka tells him that he does not love Ugoye. Okeke agrees that he knew that he (Nnaemeka) did not love her but he tries to convince Nnaemeka that love is not important and what matters in a marriage is a wife with good character and Christian background. Nnaemeka saw the futility of the argument and decides to tell his father that he is engaged to another girl who also was a good Christian and was a teacher in a girl’s school in Lagos.

Okeke retorts that if Nnaemeka considered teaching as a qualification for a good wife, he (Okeke) would like to point out, that no Christian woman should teach. He refers to a letter written by St Paul to the Corinthians in which he advises that women should keep silent.
Okeke stood up angrily and paced to and fro denouncing the church leaders who encouraged women to teach. After a long discourse, he calmed down and asked his son, who he was engaged to. When he heard that his son was engaged to a girl named Nene Atang from Calabar and that she. was not an Ibo, he leaves the place without a word. Nnaemeka was perplexed at his father’s silence. He felt his father’s silence was more threatening than his fiery speech. The old man protested his son’s transgression by staying hungry that night.

The next day, he tried to persuade Nnaemeka to cancel the engagement, but without success. He gives up his efforts saying, “I owe it to you son, as a duty to show you what is right and what is wrong. Whoever put this idea into your head might as well have cut your throat. It is Satan’s work.” Nnaemeka tells him that is optimistic that he will change his mind when he meets Nene. His father vows to never meet her. Nnaemeka feels sad by his lather’s grief but hopes that it would pass.

Nahemeka would have been less hopeful if he had known that never in the history of the Ibos has a man married a woman who did not speak the Ibo language. One of the old men who had come to commiserate – express sympathy – to Okeke judged, ‘It has never been heard’. Another old man cited a scripture from the Bible, “Sons shall rise against their fathers”. Yet another old man declared that “It is the beginning of the end” A highly practical man named Madubogwu suggests consulting an herbalist to cure his son’s diseased mind and bring him back to his right senses. They even felt that Nnaemeka required a herbal medicine called ‘ Amalile’ which often was successfully applied by women to recapture their wayward husbands. Okeke refuses to consider that option by pointing to a case involving one Mrs. Ochuba, who had poisoned an herbalist with his own medicine.

Six months later after Nnaemeka and Nene were married; Nnaemeka shows his wife a short letter he has received from his father. Nanemeka had sent him his wedding photo. In reaction to that, his father had written to him that he was astounded by this son’s insensitivity, to send him the wedding photographs. He had thought of returning the photograph, but after forethought decided against it and had expressed his discontent by cutting off his son’s wife from the photograph and sending it back to his son because he (Okeke) didn’t want to be associated with her. He.wishes that he has nothing to do with his son either.

Nene was devastated after reading the letter from her father-in-law. Nnaemeka consoled her by assuring that his father was indeed a good-natured person and will one day in the future reconcile with them Even after eight years, Okeke stood firm During those eight years he had written only three times to his son. On one occasion he refused to allow his son in his house. He was hard-hearted enough to state that he was not interested where his son and his family spent their Christmas holidays – or how they lead their life.

In spite of the hostility between the father and son, Nene and Nnaemeka led a happy married life. Yet, their marriage was judged unfairly, not only in Nnaemeka’s village but also in the distant city of their adopted city of Lagos. Though the women at their village meeting were not hostile to Nene, they maintained a polite distance from her and made her feel that she was not one among them. But Nene gradually broke through their biased opinions and became friendly with a few of them. They eventually realized that she was a better housewife than most of them.

The story of the Nnaemeka couple’s happy family life eventually reached Okeke’s village, yet he is ignorant of it. He refused to take part in any conversation regarding his son or his family. The people were careful not to mention his son’s name in his presence.

One day, Okeke receives a letter from his daughter-in-law, Nene, Though he is angry at her he is curious to know what she had written and casually goes through, the letter. As he reads the letters his demeanor suddenly changes and he starts to read the letter more carefully.

Nene had written that their two sons had been pestering them to take them to see their grandfather, ever since the day they came to know about him. She confides that she can’t bring herself to tell them that their grandfather does not want to see them. Nene pleads with Okeke to allow Nnaemeka to visit him during the Christmas vacation and as a matter of fact, she would not accompany them.

After reading the letter Okeke was in a dilemma. He felt that his resolution crumbling, though he tried to steal his heart against Nene’s appeals. He looked out of the window and saw that ‘The sky was overcast with heavy black clouds and the high wind began to blow filling the air with dust and dry leaves. It was one of those rare occasions when even Nature takes a hand in a human fight. Very soon it began to rain, the first rain in the year. It came down in large sharp drops and was accompanied by the lightning and thunder which mark a change of season.”

Okeke is deeply disturbed by Nene’s letter. His long resistance to his son’s marriage was crumbling. He was wracked by the struggle between tradition and modernity.

Achebe introduces the imagery of rain as symbol of his internal struggle. Okeke was volatile and angry like the overcast sky. Okeke’s internal turmoil is personified by the high wind that blows filling the air with dust and dry leaves. Eventually the rain starts to trickle accompanied by lightning and thunder. At last, Okeke is enlightened; his resolution crumbles similar to the clouds dissipating rain. His anger sublimes and his turmoil is washed away. Now he can think clearly and his heart and mind calm down.

He begins to think of his grandchildren. Natures hand has resolved the human fight. He can’t shut his door against them. He imagines them standing, sad and forsaken, under the harsh angry weather – shut out from his house. He resolves to give in and accept them. That night he hardly slept, from remorse and a vague fear that he night die without reconciling with his son and his family.

Marriage is a Private Affair Glossary

groped                 : to search or to attempt to find something
cosmopolitan       : composed of people from all over the world.
parching               : to bum the surface of, to scorch; to dry to extremity.
vehemently          : in forceful or intense manner
dissuasion            : to convince not to try to do.
Calabar                : a seaport in southeastern Nigeria.
deference            : great respect; the willingness to carry out the wishes of others.
Herbalist              : a person who is expert’in the use of medicinal herbs.
persevered          : repeatedly in pursuit of an undertaking, task, journey or goal.
re-enactment      : the repetition of an earlier event, as a performance or social event

Marriage is a Private Affair Questions & Answers

Comprehension

Question 1.
Mention the place where Nene and Nnaemeka lived? What were they talking about?
Answer:
Nene andNnaemeka lived at 16. Kasanga street in Lagos, the former capital city of Nigeria.

Question 2.
According to Nnaemeka, the parents would be unhappy if
a. their daughters’ get engaged
b. their sons’ engagement is not arranged by them.
c. their children many within the community.
Answer:
b. their sons’ engagement is not arranged by them.

Question 3.
How long had Nene Atang and Nnaemeka been married?
Answer:
Eight years.

Question 4.
Who wrote a letter and to whom was it addressed?
Answer:
a. Okeke wrote a letter to his son Nnaemeka.
b.Nene wrote a letter to her father-in-law, Okeke.

Question 5.
What makes Nene Atang feel that she is an outcast and does not belong to the Ibo Community?
Answer:
Nene Atang felt that she was an outcast and does not belong to the Ibo community because Nnaemeka’s father, Okeke had not only opposed their marriage but also refused to accept her as his daughter-in-law because she did not belong to the Ibo community. The people inNnaemeka’s village also felt that the marriage was against the culture and customs of the Ibo community. The prejudice against Nnaeka’s marriage was also expressed in Lagos also. The Ibo women in the city of Logos kept a polite distance from Nene though they were not hostile to her.

Question 6.
Where did Nnaemeka and his father sit on the second evening? Why was that place important?
Answer:
The second meeting between Nnaemeka and his father took place under a cassia tree. The place wa£ important because it was Okeke’s favorite retreat where he went to read his Bible when the parching December sun had set and a fresh, reviving wind blew on the leaves.

Question 7.
Who did Okeke choose to get his son engaged to? What picture of the girl did Nnaemeka have?
Answer:
Okeke chose to get his son engaged to Ugoye Nweke, the eldest daughter of their neighbor, Jacob Nweke. Okeke remembered Ugoye as an Amazon of a girl who used to beat up all the boys, himself included, on the way to the stream. She was not good at studies and was a complete dunce at school.

Question 8.
What answer does Okeke give to Nnaemeka, when he tells him that Nene is a teacher?
Answer:
Okeke commented that ifNnaemeka considered teaching as a qualification for a good wife he (Okeke) would like to point out, that no Christian woman should teach. He refers to a letter written by St. Paul to the Corinthians, in which he- advices that women should keep silence.

Question 9.
Who is Madubogwu and what suggestion did he give to Nnameka’s father?
Answer:
Madubogwu was MI elderly man fromNnaemeka’s village. He advised Okeke to consult a native doctor because he felt that Nnaemeka’s mind was diseased and only a good herbalist can bring him back to his right senses i.e., to stop Nnameka from marrying outside the Ibo community.

Question 10.
What effect did the letter from Nene have on the old man?
Answer:
When Okeke read Nene’s letter, he was in a dilemma. He felt his resolution crumbling, though he tried to steal his heart against Nene’s appeals. When he looked out of the window he saw that the sky was overcast and a few minutes later it rained accompanied by thunder and lightning, He, felt that it was one of the rare occasions when even Nature takes a hand in a human fight.

Okeke was deeply disturbed by Nene’s Letter, His long resistance to his son’s marriage was crumbling. He was wracked by the struggle between tradition and modernity.

He begins to think of his grandchildren. He imagines them standing in the harsh angry weather, sad and forsaken.. He resolves to give in and accept them.
That night he hardly slept, from remorse and a vague fear that he might die without making it up to them,

Question 11.
How does the short story depict the conflict between two different generations?
Answer:
The short story ‘Marriage is a Private affair by Chinua Achebe depict the conflict between two different generations. The story is set in a village in Lagos, the former capital city of Nigeria. It focuses on a conflict between a father, Okeke, and his son, Nnaemeka, who belong to the Ibo community, one of Nigeria’s largest ethnic groups. The Ibo’s follow the traditional practices, such as choosing spouses for their children The son, Nnaemeka has moved to Lagos, a large diversity. Nnaemeka falls in love with Nene Atang, a young woman, who is not from the Ibo community and decides to marry her. His father disapproves of the match as it is not the custom for ibos to marry outside their own ethnic group. Achebe dramatizes the conflict between tradition had modernity and between two generations in Nigeria in the twentieth century.

Though Nnaemeka his aware of that his, father Okeke is a staunch traditionalist and would vehemently oppose his proposed marrage with Nene atung, he is influenced by the modem life in lagos and he boldly gets engaged to, his girlfriend. Nnaemeka believes that marriage is a private affair and should not be influenced by traditional values. He chooses to marry Nene, for he is in love with her.

On the other hand, his father Okeke has already chosen a bride for him. The bride is Ugone, the eldest daughter of his neighbour, Jacob Neweke, and that he would shortly start negotiations when Nnaemeka refumed home in December.

When Nneameka visits his village, he tells his further that he is engaged to a girl named Nene atang whom he is in love with. He begs forgiveness because he cannot marry the girl his father has chosen for him

Okeke vehemently protests his proposed marriage to Nene and tries pursuade Nnaemeka to cancel it. But when his son insists that he would on go with the marriage, Okeke disowns him. The village elders sympatnized with Okeke. some judged that they had never heard such of a marriage. One old man referred to the Bible saying sons shall rise against their father’s and yet another old man declared that it is the beginning of the end.

Okeke remains stubborn and unrelenting and never forgives his son. He refuses to accept Nene as his daughter -in – law When Nnaemeka sends him their wedding photograph, he cuts off her photo into two and sends the portion with Nene in the photo back to Nnaemeka saying that he has nothing to do with her and wishing he had nothing to do with his son either.

Even in the city of Lagos the Ibo women keep a respectable distance from Nene and do not try to befriend her. Okeke remains adamant even after eight years after his son’s marriage. But when Nene writes to him about his grandchildren he relents and thinks of reconciling with his son’s family.

Question 12.
Describe the relationship of Nene Atang and Nnaemeka.
Answer:
In the short story ‘Marriage is a Private affair’ the main character Nnaemeka is the son of Okeke an Ibo from a village in Lagos. The Ibo still strictly adheres to the traditional customs of marriage. Nnaemeka marries Nene Atang from Calabar. She belongs to a different ethnic community other than the Ibo.
Both Nene and Nnaemeka meet in Lagos, fall in love, get engaged and decide to marry.

Nene and Nnaemeka love each other dearly They had a perfect understanding of each other. Nnaemeka married Nene in spite of his father’s opposition to the marriage. Nnaemeka treats his wife as his equal. He listens to her patiently. Nene respects Nnaemeka though they are married they are at liberty to think independently. Even after eight years of their marriage they led a happy life and were parents of two boys. Nene had always maintained that her father-in-law would one day reconcile with them Nene’s letter to Okeke about his grandchildren softens Okeke heart and he decide to accept them

Question 13.
The grandchildren become the key factor for the parents to get re-acceptance in the family. Substantiate e-statement with reference to the short story.
Answer:
Yes, the grandchildren become the key factor for the parents to get re-acceptance in the family. When Okeke’s son Nnaemeka marries a Nene Atang, a girl of his own choice, his father disowns him, because he didn’t marry a girl of the Ibo community. Okeke remains stubborn in his decision and does not want to have anything to do with his son or his family, even after eight years of his son’s marriage. After eight years, he receives a letter from his estranged son’s wife. Nene, informing him that he has two grandsons who wish to see their grandfather and that she is sending them along with their father to see him, As a matter of feet, she wishes not to accompany them to their village.

Yet even then, Okeke does not wish to break his resolve and forgive his son’s disobedience. After reading the letter from his daughter-in-law he looks out the window, at the overcast sky, thunder and lightning, and eventually rain. It was one rare occasion when even Nature takes a hand in a human fight. The change of season appears to be the change in Okeke’s attitude. Okeke’s mind was overcast with his resolution not to have anything to do with his son or his family. When he comes to know that he has two grandsons his resolve sublimates like the rain. He begins to think of his grandsons. He could not bear to imagine them standing at his door, sad and forsaken, under the harsh angry weather – shut out from his house. This thought and imagery break his resolve. His anger dissipates and his mind clears. He is full of remorse and fears that he would die even before reconciling with his son and his family.

Question 14.
The title of the short story “Marriage Is a Private Affair” is an irony. Elucidate it with reference to the short story.
Answer:
The Short Story ‘Marriage is a Private affair’ by Chinua Achebe has strong verbal irony because of its titles. Marriage is anything but private. In this story, Nnaemeka’s father Okeke, and the other people of his village disapprove of his choice of his bride because she does not belong to the Ibo community. Ibo traditionally arranges the. marriages of their tribe. But Nnaemeka and Nene’s marriage has now become a public affair. The whole village disapproves of their marriage. Even in the cosmopolitan city of Lagos, the woman maintains a respectful distance from Nene. they refuse to accept the marriage.

Marriage is a formal bond between two people, who promise to love and have a long-lasting relationship with each other to the exclusion of others.
The title ‘Marriage is a private affair’ contradicts itself because marriage is an intimate relationship, but ‘affair refers to people or the public. Moreover ‘affair’ is an unethical relationship between two people outside the sanctity of marriage.

Here Achebe is being ironic by naming the story ‘Marriage is a Private affair’ as it is not an ‘affair’. In the context of the story ‘affair’ can be justified by the word ‘private’. Also, the irony is in the ‘marriage is a private affair’ because people disapproved their marriage because of their cultural differences.

Question 15.
How does the story bring out the moral dilemma created when the cultures clash?
Answer:
Okeke is wracked by an internal struggle which concerns his adherence to the traditional marriage customs of the Ibo tribe and his love for his son, Nnaemeka. Being a traditionalist he can’t bring himself to accept his son’s Marriage to a girl outside the Ibo community. He is tom between accepting his son’s marriage of feeing the wrath of the Ibo community. So he resolves to disown his own son and his family to be in the good books of the.Ibo society. If Okeke accepts his son’s marriage it means that he is dishonouring the traditional practises ofthe Ibo community. If he adhers to the tradition he has to forego his son. First of all, he was unable to dissuade his son from marrying a girl from another community. He is ashamed ofhis son’s stance.

After disowing his son and his family he struggles to suppress the feeling of alienation from his only son and his family, because he loves his son dearly.
At the end of the story, Okeke reads the letter from his ‘ daughter-in-law, Nene, pleading him to permit his two grandsons to visit him with their father.
The author dipicts the interal struggle in Okeke’s mind as ‘The old man at once felt the resolution he had built up over so many years falling in. He was telling himself that he must not give in. He tried to steel his heart against all emotional appeals. It was a re¬enactment of that other struggle.When he thinks of his grandsons he imagines them standing at his shut door, sad and forsaken’s. He is full of remorse for having treated them is such a harsh manner. He fears that he may die without reconciling with them.

Achebe introduces the imagery of rain to depict Okeke’s internal struggle. Okeke was volatile and angry, like the overcast sky outside his window. The wind that blows filling the air with dust and dryleaves depict’s his clouded and uncertain mind eventually the rain starts to trickle accompanied by fighting and thunder. At last the change in the seasoh enlightens Okeke. His resolution crumbles similar to the clouds disspiating rain. His anger sublimes and his turmoil all is washed away. Now he can think clearly and his heart and mind calm down.

He begins to think of his grandsons. Nature’s hand has resolved the human fight. He can’t shut his door against them.

Question 16.
Explain the internal conflict of Okeke. What effect does the thunderstorm have on his internal conflict?
Answer:
Okeke is wracked by an internal struggle which concerns his adherence to the traditional marriage customs of the Ibo tribe and his love for his son, Nnaemeka. Being a traditionalist he can’t bring himself to accept his son’s Marriage to a girl outside the Ibo community. He is tom between accepting his son’s marriage of feeing the wrath of the Ibo community. So he resolve’s to disown his own son and his family to be in the good books of the Ibo society. If Okeke accepts his son’s marriage it means that he is dishonouring the traditional practises of the Ibo community. If he adhers to the tradition he has to forego his son. First of all, he was unable to dissuade his son from marrying a girl from another community. He is ashamed ofhis son’s stance.

After disowing his son and his family he struggles to suppress the feeling of alienation from his only son and his family, because he loves his son dearly. At the end of the story, Okeke reads the letter from his daughter-in-law, Nene, pleading him to permit his two-grandsons to visit him with their father. The author dipicts the interal struggle in Okeke’s mind as ‘The old man at once felt the resolution he had built up over-so many years falling in. He was telling himself that he must not give in. He tried to steel his heart against all emotional appeals. It was a re¬enactment of that other struggle.

When he thinks ofhis grandsons he imagines them standing at his shut door, sad and forsaken’s. He is full of remorse for having treated them is such a harsh manner. He fears that he may die without reconciling with them.

Achebe introduces the imagery of rain to depict Okeke’s internal struggle. Okeke was volatile and angry, like the overcast sky outside his window. The wind that blows filling the air with dust and dryleaves depict’s his clouded and uncertain mind eventually the rain starts to trickle accompanied by lighting and thunder. At last the change in the season enlightens Okeke. His resolution crumbles similar to the clouds disspiating rain. His anger sublimes and his turmoil all is washed away. Now he can think clearly and his heart and mind calm down.

He begins to think of his grandsons Nature’s hand has resolved the human fight. He can’t shut his door against them.

Question 17.
In what way does the story reflect the ignorance and superstitions of the Ibo people?
Answer:
The Short story marriage is a private affair reflects the ignorance and superstitions of the Ibo people. In the story, Achebe writes about the strict rules of marriage in the Ibo tribe of Nigeria’. Intertribal marriage is forbidden in the Ibo culture.

Nnaemeka an young and educated youth the Ibo tribe moves to the city of Lagos for employment. He meets a girl, Nene Atang, from another community, falls in love and gets engaged to marry her. Okeke, Nnaemeka father disapproves the proposed marriage and wants his son to many, Ogone Neweke, the oldest daughter of his neighbour Jacob Nnaemeka. The girl is brought in strict adherence to Christan tradition. Though Nene is also a Christan, sh e does not qualify for the marriage as she does not belong to Ibo. Nnaemeka describes the good qualities that Nene po ssessed and that she was teacher. But quoting the Okeke said that a woman who is a teacher is not fit for him as a wife because St. Paul advocated that women should remain silent. Ogone would make a perfect wife because she possessed all the qualities required for being a devote wife and hence Nnaemeka has to marry her even if he doesn’t lover her.

Nnaemeka has no other option but to defy his father and many Nene because he loves her dearly. Okeke and the other people of his tribe denounce the marriage. Okeke disowns his son and his family. The Ibo community sympathize Okeke. they are surprised by Nnaemeka’s marriage outside their community as they had never Ibos. Another gentleman quotes the Bible saying “sons shall rise against their fathers”. The Ibo never goes against their fathers. A father’s words are holy scriptures to the sons.

The elderly people of the Okeke’s village advised him to consult a native doctor to cure Nnaemeka’s diseased mind.

Okeke being a confirmed traditionalist disowned his son. His belief in tradition out weighted the love for his son.

Even in the city of Lagos the women were indifferent to Nene and kept a respectable distance from her, though they were not hostile to her. Their excessive deference made Nene feel she was not one of them. Nene gradually broke through their prejudice and made some of them as her friends. Nene later proved that she was better than most Ibo women.

When Nnaemeka had sent his wedding photograph to his father, Okeke felt that his son was insensitive to his feelings. He cut off his daughter-in-law’s photo and sent it back to his son telling him that he had nothing to do with her and wishing he had nothing to do with him either.

Though marriage is a private affair, the Ibo’s made it a public affair through their ignorance and superstitions.

English Summary

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