Okeke's friends believe that "other worldly" forces have caused Nnaemeka's behavior.
When Okeke's friends hear of Nnaemeka's desire to marry someone Nene, they demonstrate a profound difficulty to understand why he has done what he has done. One of Okeke's friends argues that the Bible predicted this very scenario when children disobey their parents: “What did Our Lord say?' asked another gentleman. 'Sons shall rise against their Fathers; it is there in the Holy Book.” For this one of Okeke's friends, the only way to explain Nnaemeka's behavior is through the Bible. At the same time, another friend suggested that Okeke might be "sick." This friend argues that seeking the help of alternative medicine is the only to cure what ails Okeke's son: “What is he then? 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.” In both situations, Okeke's friends cannot fathom why Nnaemeka would want to marry Nene. The only possible explanations they can offer is "other worldly" ones.
Such beliefs reflect the extent of the traditionalism that Nnaemeka and Nene fight against in their decision to be married. This idea demonstrates how marriage might not be necessarily seen as solely a "private affair" in many parts of the world.