Marriage Is a Private Affair

by Chinua Achebe

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What makes Nnaemeka in "Marriage is a Private Affair" a complex character?

Quick answer:

Nnaemeka is a complex character in "Marriage is a Private Affair" because he deviates from his father's Ibo traditions, and chooses love and family over tradition.

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A complex character has many different traits and is often referred to as a dynamic character. This kind of character undergoes a change within the story and has multiple traits that he or she has learned by experience. Nnaemeka, through his experience of love for Nene, realizes the new and immediate family he will create with Nene is more important than Ibo tribe tradition. Nnaemeka first worries about telling his father, considers Nene's request for a written explanation, and then decides to tell his father in person. Even though Okeke completely objects to the marriage, Nnaemeka chooses love over tradition and marries Nene. They have two beautiful sons together as a result. It is precisely Nnaemeka's devotion to family that allows him to agree to the meeting of Okeke and his grandsons at the end of the story. This decision proves Nnaemeka is a mature character who is able to forgive his father.

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