Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 15

MARRIAGE IS A

PRIVATE
AFFAIR
BY CHINUA
ACHEBE (1952)
SUMMARY
The story of two young people who find themselves caught in a
clash between traditional and modern lifestyle.

Nene belongs to the Ibibo tribe, a region of southeastern Nigeria,


while her soon to be husband Nnaemeka belongs to the Ibo tribe.

When Nnaemeka moves to Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, to be


with Nene an ancient tradition has clearly been broken.

Okeke is strongly against the marriage because Nene belongs to


a different tribe.

Nnaemeka and Nene begin a happy marriage together, his father


being one of the last people to know, and accept it.

Okeke recieves an unexpected letter from Nene herself, that


leaves him with a hard choice to make, one that could result in him
fighting a losing battle.
LITERARY CRITICISM:

CULTURAL SOCIAL
CRITICISM CRITICISM
CULTURAL
CRITICISM

TR
AD
I TI
ON AN
V S AL URB
(FA MOD VS
TH E
E R RN U R AL
IFE)
&S R W
ON B AND &
) (HUS
TRADITIONAL VS MODERN
CULTURE

The father thought that, a wife should have a good


character and a Christian background. However, his son,
preferred women with a good education as his wife.

In Ibos culture, the parents will examine not only


physical beauty of their daughter-in-law, but also her
abilities to do house chores and reads Bible.

Textual Evidence:

Nnmaeka: Marriage today is different

Okeke: Nothing is different. What one looks for in a wife


are a good character and a Christian background.
For the father, it is not impossible for a man and a woman
to get married without the existence of love between them.
however, his son wants to get married with someone that
he loves.

For Ibos parents, love is not a main reason for their


children to get married.

Textual Evidence:

Nnamaeka: I cant- we must- I mean it is impossible for


me to marry Nwekes daughter.

Okeke: Impossible? Why?

Nnmaeka: I dont love her.

Okeke: Nobody said you did. Why should you?


URBAN VS RURAL CULTURE

Parents from the Urban area will feel happy when their
children get married, although with someone from different
ethnic. However, parents in rural area will against the
marriage between different ethnic.

In order to preserve their culture and tradition, Ibos


parents tend to choose their son and daughter-in-law from
the same ethnic

Textual Evidence:

In the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city it had always


seemed to her something of a joke that a persons tribe
could determine whom he married.
There is a must for the parents in rural area to arrange the
marriage for their children while the parents from urban area
still respect their childrens choice for their happiness.

In Ibos culture, when their children reach puberty, they will


immediately find the life partner for their children.

Textual Evidence:

Nnaemeka: You have lived in Lagos all your life, and you
know very little about people in remote parts of the country.

Nene: Thats what you always say. But I dont believe


anybody will be so unlike other people that they will be
unhappy when their sons are engaged to marry.

Nnaemeka: Yes. They are most unhappy if the engagement


is not arranged by them. In our case its worse- you are not
even an Ibo.
SOCIAL
CRITICISM

SO N
C O
IET L IGI
Y R E
SOCIETY
When Nnaemeka married Nene, who has a different culture
with him, the villagers keep criticizing his decision because
they thought that he has broke their tradition.

It is prohibited for Ibos society to marry with someone from


different ethnic as it is considered as a sin.

Textual Evidence:
Nnaemeka, for his own part, was very deeply affected by his
fathers grief. But he kept hoping that it would pass away. If it
had occurred to him that never in the history of his people had
a man married a woman who spoke a different tongue, he
might have been less optimistic. It has never been heard,
was the verdict of an old man speaking a few weeks later.
For Okeke, woman should keep silence and just stay at
home to do all of the house chores and take care of the
family.

Since the British invaded an settled Iboland in the


beginning of the 16th century, things have changed
drastically, mostly to the disadvantage of women. Women
are considered second-class citizens, and treated as
slaves.

Textual Evidence:
Nnaemeka: She is a good Christian and a teacher is a
girls school in Lagos

Okeke: Teacher, did you say? If you consider that a


qualification for a good wife I should like to point out to you,
Imeka, that no Christian women should teach. St. Paul in
his letter to the Corinthians says that women should keep
silence.
RELIGION
Okeke wants his son to marry with Ugoye Nweke, who has a
proper Christian upbringing and can read Bible fluently.

The Ibos are profoundly religious. They believe that the


religion, Christian, can guide them to have a blissful life.

Textual Evidence:
I have found a girl who will suit you admirably- Ugoye Nweke,
the eldest daughter of our neighbour, Jacob Nweke. She has a
proper Christian upbringing. When she stopped schooling
some years ago her father (a man of sound judgment) sent her
to live in the house of a pastor where she has received all the
training a wife could need. Her Sunday school teacher has told
me that she reads her Bible very fluently.
REFERENCES
British Literature Marriage is a private affair by Chinua
Achebe retrieved on February, 16, 2012 from
http://www.nexuslearning.net/books/elements_of_lit
_course6/20th%20century/collection%2015/marriag e.htm

Tangient LLC Marriage is a private affair by Chinua Achebe


retrieved on February, 16, 2012 from
http://worldlitstories.wikispaces.com/Marriage+Is+A
+Private+Affair+-+Raechel+Baricevic
THANK
YOU !