Image of Marriage is a private affair

Four levels of Marriage is a Private Affair

writer of marriage is a private affairMarriage is a Private Affair

Chinua Achebe (1930-2013)


Four levels of Marriage is a Private Affair as follows:

Literal comprehension

Marriage is a Private Affair is a story written by the famous Nigerian writer ‘Chinua Achebe’. In this story, he described Nigerian or African culture. The writer showed the relationship between Nnaemeka who was a city boy/Ibo tribe. And Nene who was a city girl/ school teacher/ another tribe. They used to love each other & wants to involved in marriage. When Nnaemeka said about their love affair to his father (Okeke) but his father did not accept it. It is because Okeke had already chosen one girl (Ugoyo) from the same tribe. Also, Okeke wants his daughter in law has good knowledge about the bible & the ability to do the work for their house. By, misunderstanding Okeke goes away from his son.

Then Nnaemeka & Nene involved in marriage. After involved, they live a happy life. After six months later Nene sent a letter to her father in law with marriage photos but her father in law tore that letter & returned it to his daughter in law. In this way, eight years later Nnaemeka & Nene got two lovely sons & they want to meet their grandfather. And, again they sent a letter to his father. But, that time when Okeke received this letter he in haste to meet his son’s family. And, they all were met with each other. At last, Okeke accepts his son & son’s affair. In this way, the writer insists on love marriage as well as a private marriage affair.


Maybe the writer trying to show us the conflict between traditional culture & modern culture. Where Nnaemeka was modern & Okeke was a traditional type of person. It insists on love marriage which makes more happiness than arrange. It also suggests we should be free or independent to choose our life partner. Also, if we are a superstitious, narrow-minded, traditional & conservative type of a person it brings us tensions & problems. So, the writer used to suggest that we should make our mind wide perspective, mutual understanding as well as we should not attach to traditional culture. It also shows the generation gap between first Okeke, second Nnaemeka & third Nnaemeka’s sons.

Critical thinking

In terms of the positive point of view, this story is interesting to read & I also have taken entertainment from it. However, I am not fully satisfied with some statements of this text,

  • How can we believe that private or love marriages always create happiness?
  • Can a father reject his own son due to a misunderstanding about marriage?
  • Also, How can a son leave his own father for a girl?
  • Is it possible for the Okeke to accept the marriage of his son only with a letter?
  • Is it possible for all the teenagers to involve in marriage without their father as well as family?


Before reading this text I used to think that arrange marriage is the best for us. Family, society as well as culture are important to involve. And, I believed in it. But after reading this text I came to know that private or love marriages also create more happiness than arrange. So, I have decided to involve in love marriage like Nnaemeka & Nene, & reject the traditional culture.

Also, read

four levels of the Great Scott Gadzooks

four levels of the parrot in the cage

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