The main conflict in Chinua Achebe's short story "Marriage is a Private Affair" is between a father and a son. In a broader scope, it also involves a conflict between generations and cultures. The father, Okeke, lives in a small rural village and his life is dictated by the ancient precepts of his culture, including strict rules about marriage. On the other hand, his son Nnaemeka has moved to the modern city of Lagos and looks at the world in a completely different way. He feels as though he is not bound by cultural taboos. He decides to go against the old ways by marrying a girl who is not from his Ibo tribe. This marriage is initially unacceptable to his father but as time passes, and Okeke learns after eight years that he has two grandsons, his heart softens. In the end, Achebe suggests that Okeke will give in and see his son's family. The theme of the story, then, is that love, especially familial love, can overcome cultural and generational conflicts. Acceptance is also a powerful theme of the story as Okeke begins to understand that he lives in a new reality and that old traditions, prejudices and ways of thinking need to be set aside in a rapidly changing modern world.