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How is "Marriage is a Private Affair" related to Mrs. Ochuba and Amalile?

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tmmathew | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 5, 2011 at 11:15 PM via web

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How is "Marriage is a Private Affair" related to Mrs. Ochuba and Amalile?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 6, 2011 at 12:14 AM (Answer #1)

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In this classic story which concerns the generational conflict between a father clinging to his tribal ways and his son, who by choosing to marry outside of his tribe rejects the customs and beliefs of his father, Amalile and Mrs. Ochuba are mentioned by the father's friends and members of the tribe by talking about the way that Okeke should seek some kind of traditional medical cure to solve his son's stubborn determination to select who he wants as his future wife. Note what Madubogwu suggests:

The boy's mind is diseased and only a good herbalist can bring him back to his right senses. The medicine he requires is Amalile, the same that women apply with success to recapture their husbands' straying affection.

Amalile is thus the name given of the medicine that was used in this tribe to regain the affection of unfaithful husbands. However, Okeke refuses to adopt such an approach, citing the case of Mrs. Ochuba, who followed this scheme but ended up unwittingly poisoning the herbalist in "trying it out" because she did not go to an "honest herbalist." Okeke determines to let his son follow his own path and to let him face the consequences of being isolated and rejected.

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