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In marriage is a personal Affair by Chinua Achebe we have the theme of modernity, tradition, control, conflict, stubbornness, sex roles, independence, adjust and remorse. Taken from his girl at War and also Other Stories repertoire the story is narrated in the 3rd person by one unnamed narrator and from the start of the story the reader realises the Achebe might be experimenting the layout of modernity and tradition. Despite both Nnaemeka and also Nene live in Lagos, a contemporary city in Nigeria, Nnaemeka is really much conscious of the prominence of tradition an especially when it involves his dad Okeke. Who has actually arranged because that Nnaemeka to marry a girl native his village despite the fact that Nnaemeka is as result of marry Nene. If something there is a feeling of conflict in between both father and son. Through Nnaemeka adhering to a more modern path come marriage and also rather than having actually a wife chosen for that by his father prefers instead to choose who he is come marry. Something the is shed on Okeke who prefers to monitor the classic values the are hosted by those in the village. There is also a sense that Nnaemeka desire to control his very own life (and destiny) rather than follow the heritages that his dad abides to. Something the Okeke go not understand or appears to refuse to recognize such is the depth of his follow to tradition.

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Throughout the story Okeke also shows indications of gift stubborn. Refusing to also acknowledge Nene either before or after ~ she marries Nnaemeka. For this reason deep is his dislike for Nene that he returns the wedding picture sent to him through Nnaemeka through Nene’s photo removed indigenous the photograph. Symbolically this may be necessary as it argues that Okeke does no give any recognition come Nene. As much as he is came to she does not exist and is not Nnaemeka’s wife. Which would further highlight to the reader just how necessary tradition is come Okeke. Quite than see his son happy he remains rooted to tradition. It may also be significant that some of the other males in the village suggest the Nnaemeka should see among the aboriginal doctors as this would additionally further play on the layout of tradition. The reality that the females of the town (who live in Lagos) room overly polite come Nene may likewise be vital as it suggests they are deliberately alienating Nene and if anything the would imply that the women believe that Nene is not among them.

What is also interesting around the story is the function that women play in the village. Ugoye is liked by Okeke come marry Nnaemeka. She is offered no option and also is following the dictate of she father and Okeke. Also there is no cite of Okeke having actually a wife or Nnaemeka having actually a mother. This may be deliberate together Achebe might be arguing that fairly than Okeke gift a widower his wife has no entry (like Ugoye). In significance the females of the village are silent. The just woman in the story who has actually an elevation voice is Nene and she does no live in the village. In essence Achebe can be suggesting that just as Okeke desires to control who Nnaemeka marries similarly the women who live in the village are likewise being managed by the males in the village. No equality might exist between male and also female in ~ the village. The reality being the life in the village may revolve around traditional gender roles with the masculine being dominant. Whereas in Lagos Nene together mentioned has actually her very own voice and is not hindered through Nnaemeka. She is permitted to to express herself. Something the becomes fingerprint to the reader with Nene’s letter writing to Okeke.

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The end of the story is likewise interesting together Achebe appears to be experimenting the layout of adjust and remorse. When Okeke discovers the he has two grandchildren his see of Nnaemeka and Nene’s marriage alters dramatically. No longer is he against the marriage and it is noticeable that Okeke starts to fear that his isolation that Nene has resulted in him additionally shutting the end his grandchildren from his life. It may likewise be symbolically far-reaching that that is raining as soon as Okeke us to readjust his opinion ~ above Nnaemeka and also Nene’s marriage. Quite frequently in literature a writer will use the rain as symbolism for adjust or renewal and this appears to be really much the instance in the story. The reality that Achebe mentions in the final line the the story the Okeke feels remorse may also be important as it argues that not only has Okeke’s opinion that Nnaemeka and Nene’s marriage adjusted but Okeke may additionally be conscious that he has actually been wrong. That his very own stubbornness and also traditional see on marriage has brought about him alienating his son, Nene and his 2 grandchildren. In ~ the finish of the story over there is a feeling that no only has Okeke readjusted his see on Nnaemeka and also Nene’s marriage however he may likewise have adjusted as a person.


McManus, Dermot. "Marriage is a personal Affair through Chinua Achebe." The sitting Bee. The sitting Bee, 16 Nov. 2016. Web.