What was Nnameka's reaction to his father's grief?  Why was he hopeful that "it would pass away?"

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Nnameka knows that his father is going to be upset at the news of him marrying Nene.  The opening of the story is him expressing his dismay to Nene about him having to express the news of his impending marriage.  Nnaemeka understands that his father is going to be upset and angry.  

"Grief" becomes a critical description both in Okeke's reaction and in Nnaemeka's reaction to his father's reaction.  Nnaemeka acknowledges that he has hurt his father and his father intensely angry.  Described as "deeply affected," he recognizes that he has awoken a rage and wrath in his father that he has never seen.  He is hopeful that the feelings would "pass away" because of the millions of marriages that initially evoked anger, but yet ended up being accepted:  "If it had occurred to him that never in the history of his people had a man married a woman who spoke a different tongue, he might have been less optimistic."  Nnaemeka believes that this will pass and that his father will come around and accept his son's choices.  However, as Nnaemeka heads back to Lagos, it dawns on him that perhaps it is not going to "pass away" anytime soon.  While Nnaemeka knows he has disappointed his father, he also refuses to live in the past shadows of what marriage was.  Rather, he lives with the hurt he caused and goes on with his married life to Nene.

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