What kind of man is Okeke in the short story "Marriage Is a Private Affair"?

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Okeke is a proud, stubborn man who finally feels regret at the end of the story.

Okeke can be characterized by his commitment to his religious beliefs and his tribal affiliation. He only rejects Nene because isn't from the right tribe; Okeke has already selected a Christian woman to be...

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Okeke is a proud, stubborn man who finally feels regret at the end of the story.

Okeke can be characterized by his commitment to his religious beliefs and his tribal affiliation. He only rejects Nene because isn't from the right tribe; Okeke has already selected a Christian woman to be his son's bride and he refuses to recognize or support Nnaemeka's marriage to Nene. Even though his son is happy and in love, he refuses to yield. Nnaemeka thinks his father will give in but years pass without Okeke doing so.

Okeke is so proud that others don't approach him when they meet Nene and like her. He has a temper whenever the topic is raised. They don't tell Okeke that Nnaemeka has a good marriage; they don't tell him that he should reach out to his son. Okeke is so stubborn that he's willing to let the rift continue even though it pains him. Ultimately, Nene reaches out to tell Okeke about his grandsons and this is what moves him to feel regret. That night, he thinks that he hopes he has a chance to make it up to them before he dies, showing that he isn't all bad. Chinua Achebe says, "That night he hardly slept, from remorse—and a vague fear that he might die without making it up to them."

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Okeke is Nnaemeka's father who disapproves of his son marrying Nene. Okeke is a religious man who follows a strict interpretation of the Bible. Achebe writes that Okeke routinely reads the scriptures and he even criticizes Nene's occupation as a teacher because it goes against what he interprets Paul to say is a woman's role in society. Okeke is also a very resolute man who is determined to not accept his son's marriage. Okeke cares deeply about Nnaemenka's well-being but is too rigid in his traditional beliefs to accept his son's decision. Okeke is also an intelligent man who rejects his neighbors' superstitious beliefs and rarely argues with them because he says, "they are incapable of reasoning." Okeke is essentially an implacable, unforgiving individual who is deeply conflicted. At the end of the story, Achebe suggests that Okeke's decision to open his door to his son is a likely possibility.

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