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Chinua Achebe’s Marriage Is a Private Affair

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    Private Affair depends mainly on the three main artistic tools; point of view, setting, and character. Achebe’s Marriage Is A Private Affair tells the story of two young people that come from separate tribes, the Ibo and the Ibibio, and contrary to ancient tradition, the two are in love. NeNe is a hopeless romantic who belongs to the Ibibio tribe, the Ibo’s enemies. She is in love, and planning a wedding with Nnaemeka. Nnaemeka belongs to the Ibo tribe, and he too in madly in love with NeNe, but his father Okeke abides by the ancient traditions.

    He believes that the two tribes should never coexist, especially when it comes to religion and marriage. When inspecting the three main themes it is easy to reveal how Marriage Is A Private Affair easily captivates the heart. The story is told by an all knowing narrator. This person does not interact with the characters, or the events that are laid out in the story. Throughout Marriage Is A Private Affair the reader can trust that the narrator will give an unbiased view of the story.

    The narrator does not add any other views, interests or colors to the story. The time period of Marriage Is A Private Affair isn’t specifically given but I believe it takes place in present day. The time of day is mainly morning and afternoon, except for when Nnaemeka is walking home from his father’s house after trying to convince him to accept NeNe. Over the course of a few days of the story, the weather is hot and sunny, since it takes place in Nigeria up until the last paragraph when it begins to storm above Okeke’s head.

    Marriage Is A Private Affair is set in the capital of Nigeria, Lagos. This serves as Ibibio land and NeNe’s home. The other parts of the story briefly take place in Ibo country where Nnaemeka and his father Okeke live. The general mood of the story is one of worry, coming from all characters. Nnaemeka is worried because his father won’t accept NeNe and Okeke is worried because once he figures out that NeNe has had his grandchildren, he is faced with the toughest decision of his life.

    The characters in the story Marriage Is A Private Affair are all very much different, but yet are all linked in some sort of way. First there is NeNe; she simply a hopeless romantic. She is very much in love and will do anything to make her dream come true. She isn’t bothered much by the small, but important detail of the fact that her fiance’s father will not accept her. On the other hand, Nnaemeka, NeNe’s soon to be husband in the exact opposite. He is extremely worried about the relations between his father and his fiance.

    That worry intensifies when he visits his father one last time before he gets married to tries and mend the relationship between the two. Then there is Okeke; like most of the elders in the Ibo tribe, he firmly believes in the ancient traditions. That includes his son not marrying the love of his life all because she is an Ibibio. He is very stern, and a lot of the time cold towards his son. However, when NeNe comes to him one day begging for him to be apart of his grandsons’ lives, his tough exterior may be broken down forever.

    Chinua Achebe’s Marriage Is A Private Affair utilizes the there main literary tools perfectly to describe the troubles of a young and in love couple: point of view, setting, and character. I believe the combination of these three themes bring about a much bigger lesson. That being no matter what background you come from, what your religion is, what you look like, or wear you’re from shouldn’t matter if you are truly in love, because love knows no boundaries.

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    Chinua Achebe’s Marriage Is a Private Affair. (2017, Mar 19). Retrieved from

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