Marriage Is a Private Affair Questions and Answers
by Chinua Achebe

Start Your Free Trial

Describe the symbolism used by Chinua Achebe in Marriage is a Private Affair  

Expert Answers info

tstrelevitz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write258 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Nnaemeka's marriage to Nene symbolizes a rejection of Christianity and a deviation or challenge to his heritage as Ibo. Nnaemeka has chosen his soon to be wife rather than follow the strict marital arrangements that are set by his father. Nene and Nnaemeka instead choose to follow love. Nene's role as a teacher and Christian is counter to Nnaemeka's Christian upbringing. This is exemplified when Nnaemeka's father says,

no Christian woman should teach. St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians says that women should keep silence.

The marriage is a sign of deviation and is further explained when an elderly man in the village notes that a marriage between a native Ibo and someone who speaks a different tongue was 'never heard of'. The ending scene is of an overcast and stormy night. This symbolizes that

nature had a hand in a human fight . . .

This sensory image is reflective of the turmoil between father and son.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

S.L. Watson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write580 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

In this short story by Achebe, the author explores the stubbornness of the older...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 538 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading: