Marriage Is a Private Affair by Chinua Achebe

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Three different Western marriage customs have influenced the characters in the story "Marriage is a Private Affair" by Chinua Achebe. It is about a Nnaemeke and Nene. Nnaemeke was an Igbo but Nene was from a different part of the country. They fell in love and Nnameke proposed. Then Nnaemeke got a letter from his father telling him about an arranged marriage that is being planned. Very disappointed, Nnaemeke comes home and tells his father that he will not get married to anybody, except Nene. Nnaemeke was kicked out from his father's house and wasn’t wanted there anymore. Happily married, Nnaemeke and Nene, had two sons. They wanted to see their grandpa and wouldn’t stop asking to visit him. When Nnaemeke's father read the letter about his grandsons he couldn’t stop himself from thinking about them. At last he was beginning to open his heart for his son, daughter-in-law, and his grandsons. The first custom was that the parents arranged marriages for their children. Nnaemeka's father had arranged a wedding for him with a girl from his culture. The second custom was that love was not part of the marriages. All that mattered was that she had to be a good Christian and had the potential to become a good wife. The third custom is that the woman had to be raised from the same culture. Women from other cultures were not welcomed in Igbo culture and families. These three customs had a huge affect on Nene's and Nnaemeka's lives. One of the first Western customs we read in "Marriage is a Private Affair" is that the parents arrange marriages for their children. According to a writer that lives in Lagos and observes Igbo culture, "Many marriages in the Igbo land are still arranged although in recent years many young people are kicking again... ... middle of paper ... ...liefs. To conclude, the characters in the story "Marriage is a Private Affair" were greatly influenced by western customs. Works Cited "To Love or to Arrange?" Arranged Marriages|Love. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2013. "Nigeria: Prevalence of Arranged Marriage within the Igbo (Ibo) Community; Description of Traditional Betrothal/marriage Contract and Marriage; Whether Groom's Family Is Financially Responsible for the Bride upon Betrothal; State Protection Available to Women Forced into Marriage." Refworld. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. "History of Western Weddings." LoveToKnow. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. "African Wedding Traditions." African Wedding Traditions. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. "Marriage in Igbo Land in Nigeria." Wikinut. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. "Nairaland Forum." Why Do Igbo People Detest Marrying Other Tribes? N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.
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