Marriage Is a Private Affair

by Chinua Achebe
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Why does Okeke object to his son's marriage in "Marriage is a Private Affair"?    

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Okeke objects to Nnaemeka's marriage to Nene because he is not following the Nigerian Ibo tradition. Even though Nnaemeka has moved to Lagos (a big city), Okeke expects Nnaemeka to follow the traditions from the Ibo village where he grew up. Instead, Nnaemeka meets Nene, falls in love, and decides to marry...

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Okeke objects to Nnaemeka's marriage to Nene because he is not following the Nigerian Ibo tradition. Even though Nnaemeka has moved to Lagos (a big city), Okeke expects Nnaemeka to follow the traditions from the Ibo village where he grew up. Instead, Nnaemeka meets Nene, falls in love, and decides to marry her. First, Okeke specifically objects to the marriage because Nnaemeka refuses to marry the Ibo girl that Okeke has picked out. Okeke also objects to the marriage because of a couple of important specifics about Nene: she works as a teacher (which Okeke believes is forbidden in the Bible) and is not of the Ibo tribe. It is this last fact that absolutely infuriates Okeke. As a result, Okeke vows never to see or speak to Nene. Luckily, Okeke's grandsons eventually cause Okeke to relent. Okeke plans to be reunited with his son and grandsons by the end of the story.

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