A Private Affair By Chinua Achebe Essay example

A Private Affair By Chinua Achebe Essay example

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Respect – is an important positive trait of admiration and acceptance for the abilities and qualities another possesses and portrays that are of high esteem. Nowadays, the idea of respect has been lost because of opinions in the interest of oneself. In the story “Marriage is a Private Affair”, Okeke portrays his disgust and anger towards his son as a sign of his disapproval of his son’s marriage whose wife is of a different tribe, and in the story “Everyday Use”, Dee portrays selfishness and disregard to her mother and sister who are seen as poor due their set-back in life because of unforeseen events in their lives. The comparison of the two stories “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker and “Marriage is a Private Affair” by Chinua Achebe showed difference in settings, but similar character traits of how respect has been lost by the main characters ‘Dee’ with her mother and sister, and ‘Okeke’ with his son.
Both stories show two contrasting settings, yet these settings are significant to both stories’ main characters. Okeke is an old man who lives in the rural areas of Africa and his son lives in the cosmopolitan area of the city in Lagos. In Africa, people are segregated by different tribes, which there is an indifference in culture and mindset. As a result, some tribes show flexibility while others display strict traditional values. The countryside where Okeke lives has strict traditional values where two different tribes cannot marry each other: “…when it comes to marriage, its not quite so simple… is not peculiar to the Ibos” (Achebe 11). This is deem has sinful and disrespectful towards their tribe’s values, which for the son’s wife it’s “something of a joke that a person’s tribe could determine whom he married” (Achebe 9). Traditio...


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...years, Okeke would have nothing to do with his son” (Achebe 58). Okeke’s action displays disrespect and harshness towards his son’s choice. After discovering Okeke has two grandsons who want to meet him, the hardness of Okeke’s heart starts to melt. He knows he has to change. His anger towards his son dragged for many years and it will not be fair on his grandsons to see their grandfather in such a negative manner.
To earn respect one has to give it to then receive it. Within the two stories “Marriage Is a Private Affair” and “Everyday Use” show the contrast of two settings, but had similarities of characteristic trait of one’s disrespect and disregard to their family views because they did not have the same opinion. In spite of this, both characters receive a wake up call that their family too has a voice as well as an opinion, which should be respected and valued.

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