Marriage is a Private Affair
by Amber Johnson
| 10 Questions
Note from the author:
Last part of Marriage is a private affair
Lines 128-138

Six months later, Nnaemeka was showing his young wife a short letter from his father:
It amazes me that you could be so unfeeling as to send me your wedding picture. I would have sent it back. But on further thought I decided just to cut off your wife and send it back to you because I have nothing to do with her. How I wish that I had nothing to do with you either.

When Nene read through this letter and looked at the mutilated picture, her eyes filled with tears, and she began to sob. “Don’t cry, my darling,” said her husband. “

He is essentially good-natured and will one day look more kindly on our marriage.” But years passed, and that one day did not come.
Do you think there is a good way for Nnaemeka to resolve his moral dilemma? Why or why not?
Lines 139

For eight years, Okeke would have nothing to do with his son, Nnaemeka. Only three times (when Nnaemeka asked to come home and spend his leave) did he write to him.

“I can’t have you in my house,” he replied on one occasion. “It can be of no interest to me where or how you spend your leave—or your life, for that matter.”

The prejudice against Nnaemeka’s marriage was not confined to his little village. In Lagos, especially among his people who worked there, it showed itself in a different way. Their women, when they met at their village meeting, were not hostile to Nene. Rather, they paid her such excessive deference as to make her feel she was not one of them. But as time went on, Nene gradually broke through some of this prejudice and even began to make friends among them. Slowly and grudgingly they began to admit that she kept her home much better than most of them.

The story eventually got to the little village in the heart of the Ibo country that Nnaemeka and his young wife were a most happy couple. But his father was one of the few people in the village who knew nothing about this.
Which line best represents the father's prejudice (prejuicio) against Nene?
A It amazes me that you could be so unfeeling as to send me your wedding picture. (130)
B I would have sent it back. (131)
C I have nothing to do with her. (133)
The prejudice against Nnaemeka's marriage was not confined to his little village. This means that the Ibo people in the city also:
A Treated Nene differently
B Took her in as one of their own
How did the women in Lagos make her feel different?
A They were rude to her
B They ignored her
C They showed her so much respect that she did not feel included
0: - 19
He always displayed so much temper whenever his son’s name was mentioned that everyone avoided it in his presence. By a tremendous effort of will he had succeeded in pushing his son to the back of his mind. The strain had nearly killed him, but he had persevered and won.
In your own words, describe how the father reacted when he heard his son's name.
Lines 159-165

Then one day he received a letter from Nene, and in spite of himself he began to glance through it perfunctorily until all of a sudden the expression on his face changed and he began to read more carefully. . . .

Our two sons, from the day they learnt that they have a grandfather, have insisted on being taken to him. I find 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 his leave next month. I shall remain here in Lagos . . .
Nene writes her father-in-law to ask him to please see his grandsons.
How will Nnaemeka's father react to this letter? Cite evidence.

Lines 166-181

The old man at once felt the resolution he had built up over so many years falling in. He was telling himself that he must not give in. He tried to steel his heart against all emotional appeals. It was a reenactment of that other struggle. He leaned against a window and looked out. The sky was overcast with heavy black clouds, and a high wind began to blow, filling the air with dust and dry leaves. It was one of those rare occasions when even Nature takes a hand in a human fight. Very soon it began to rain, the first rain in the year. It came down in large sharp drops and was accompanied by the lightning and thunder which mark a change of season. Okeke was trying hard not to think of his two grandsons. But he knew he was now fighting a losing battle. He tried to hum a favorite hymn, but the pattering of large raindrops on the roof broke up the tune. His mind immediately returned to the children. How could he shut his door against them? By a curious mental process he imagined them standing, sad and forsaken, under the harsh angry weather—shut out from his house.
That night he hardly slept, from remorse—and a vague fear that he might die without making it up to them.
How does the letter affect the father?
A He begins to regret his descion.
B He does not change his mind.
C He goes into the storm.
What does the storm in the lines 171-179 symbolize for the father? ¿Qué simboliza la tormenta en las líneas 171-179 para el padre?
A His resolution to not accept Nene
B The memories of the letters he wrote
C His inner struggle against his old feelings and new
(Extension) Interpret cultural context: Why might living in a city influence Nnaemeka's attitude toward Ibo traditions?

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