Marriage is a Private Affair │ Four Levels │ Summary │ English │ Chinua Achebe

Marriage is a Private Affair

Marriage is a Private Affair │ Chinua Achebe
- Chinua Achebe

Literal Comprehension:

This story addresses cross-cultural research. A Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe discusses a marriage event as a cross-cultural issue in this tale. Okeke's son Nnaemeka is committed to marrying a Christian girl named Nene and is not from his tribe. But for his son, his dad chose another girl from his own tribe.

In the Ibo culture of Nnaemeka, inter-caste marriage is not acceptable. So his dad attempts to convince his son not to marry her, but Nnaemeka stays rigorous on his decision. As a forgotten family member, Okeke leaves his son and is no longer remembering him.

But when he knows that Nnaemeka and Nene are the happiest and most successful couple, he becomes less strict. But, until Nene writes a letter to him stating that his two grandsons want to see him, his dad knows nothing about his son. Then he tries hard to forget about them, but he can't. He wants to see them so much.

Now he understands and acknowledges his error and he answers that he's prepared to meet them. In this manner, love and affection, as well as children's love, are more strong than any culture and tradition, no tribal law can prevent love and marriage from the individuals of today.


This story is telling that love is the most powerful weapon of all. The writer is presenting the traditional rules and regulations for marriage, i.e. arranged marriage, which must be followed by every girl and boy of society.

But in the case of love, nothing can destroy the heavenly path of a beautiful rose. A strong feeling of love can change the hardened stone into soft butter which can then share a smell like honey and a sweet taste of bright light into the hearts of all sad love.

Critical Thinking:

In this story, I prefer the writer's views towards the love marriage. Only in love, both partners can know each other deeply before their marriage. Every child must have their own right for choosing their life partner because the partner is not going to live the rest of their life by sleeping with their parents-in-law after marriage.

But in some cases, I am strictly opposed to the writer. Though I support love marriage, I think there doesn't need to be the presence of strong happiness in the life of love birds. Can the father abandon his children only for the misunderstanding of marriage?

But also, is it good to destroy our own culture and religious beliefs that have saved our tribal identity. Though I have critical thoughts towards this story, I want to suggest to all the parents that they must change according to the change of time. Because, "If you change nothing, nothing will change".


This story caged me into the paradox of whether to follow love or arrange marriage. If I follow the writer, then it may create a wall in the middle of love among family members.

But if I follow arranged marriage, I am not sure that I will live happily with a stranger, whom I even don't know what might she have feelings towards me.

But staying into paradoxical thoughts will not going to help me anymore, so I will respect my parent's decisions the way they want.

-- 𓐴𓐴𓐴 --

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