Culture or Blood?
When two people meet each other and decide to be together, it is only because of one factor, love, and although marriage relies on love, in todayâ€™s society, mixing ethnicities can cause family tension. These issues and controversies happened to a man that was in love. In â€œMarriage is a private affairâ€ by Chinua Achebe, Nnaemeka fell in love with a woman that was not from the Ibo tribe and has to deal with the rage and rejection of his father. His wife, Nene is also marginalized from Nnaemekaâ€™s family, and Okeke is held back from his sons life due to his cultural believes.
Nnaemeka was happy to finally find the woman he loves. Her name is Nene and she is the ...view middle of the document...
Okeke had finally found a girl that his son could marry, her name was Ugoye Nweke and she fit every quality an Ibo father would want their sons to have as a wife, she was a Christian, she had received the proper training a wife should have and she read the Bible frequently.
Nnaemekaâ€™s response to his fatherâ€™s letter was surprising because his father expected him to agree and marry the woman he had for him. He sat with his father and began the conversation with an unexpected opening. â€œFather, I have come to ask forgivenessâ€ (Achebe 374) Instead of telling his father that he was not going to marry Ugoye, he initiated by saying sorry. This shows the respect Nnaemeka had towards his father, but still was going to marry the woman he loved. After a brief conversation, Okeke walked away and did not want to hear any
more of his sons words, Nnaemeka had told him that Nene was the only woman he could marry. His father chose to leave him over listening and understanding what his son had to say. His culture prevented him from looking outside the window and allowing his son to express his feeling and choices. Nnaemeka waited, knowing that soon enough his father would forgive him and accept Nene into his family. He had sent Okeke his wedding picture and he cut off Nene and sent it back to him, implying that he did not want anything to do with her. Okeke had nothing to do with his son for eight years.
Nnaemeka was completely erased from his fatherâ€™s life, and all this time he had just been waiting for Okeke to look beyond his sonâ€™s decision and accept him back into his life. Nnaemeka had been marginalized from his family, and his home. He was not accepted into the place he was born and belonged. He was left for dead, all because he had decided not follow the Iboâ€™s believes in marriage. Nnaemeka did not consider himself part of the Ibo culture anymore because he was marginalized from the community. He believed in marrying the woman he loves and not a woman that is set upon him to live with.
Nnaemeka went on to have children with Nene. The children wondered if they had grandfather and if they would ever get to meet them. Nene decided to send Okeke a letter to try and see if he would accept his grandchildren into his life â€œOur two sons, from the day they learnt that they have a grandfather, have insisted on being taken to him. I found it impossible to tell them that you will not see them. I implore you to allow Nnaemeka to bring them home
for a short time during leave next month. I shall remain here in Lagos...â€ (Nene 376) Even Nnaemekaâ€™s children had been neglected...