How would you describe Okeke's personality in "Marriage Is a Private Affair"?

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Okeke is a man who has attached all of his personal morality to the dogmatic rules of his religion. Because of this, he is a man that is incredibly severe, strict, and resistant to any external threat of change or emotion. At times he is deliberately obtuse, wanting to hear...

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Okeke is a man who has attached all of his personal morality to the dogmatic rules of his religion. Because of this, he is a man that is incredibly severe, strict, and resistant to any external threat of change or emotion. At times he is deliberately obtuse, wanting to hear nothing of Nnaemeka's feelings of love or even his life outside of his father's clutches. Nnaemeka continues communication with his father even after abandoning his village because he believes truly that his father is a good man.

This insensitivity ultimately reflects Okeke as a fearful man. He fears that his son has turned from the way of God and that he will suffer God's wrath if he continues associating with his son. In the end, Okeke does show some courage by allowing himself to feel emotion upon hearing the news of his grandsons. The reader is meant to believe that Okeke did become a less fearful man and reconcile with his new family.

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Nnaemeka's father, Okeke, is a strict, religious man who is intolerant to change. Throughout the novel, Achebe portrays Okeke's religious zeal by depicting him reading the Bible and quoting scripture. Okeke is also a callous man who rejects his son for deciding to marry Nene. He is utterly implacable and refuses to change his opinion on Nnaemeka and his wife. Okeke's unforgiving attitude ruins his relationship with his son and causes him much stress. Okeke is also arrogant and thinks that he is smarter than his neighbors. He dismisses their superstitious beliefs and rarely pays attention to their opinions. Repressing his love and affection for his son takes a toll on Okeke, but he is able to push his thoughts to the back his mind until he receives a picture of Nnaemeka's children. Okeke's ability to repress his emotions illustrates his determined and resolute character.

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