By: Chinua Achebe

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About The Author: Chinua Achebe was born and grew up in the Ibo village of Ogidi, Nigeria. Although Achebe won a scholarship to study medicine, his love of literature changed his career. The nationalist movement after World War II brought with it a new sense of African self-awareness and confidence. This led Achebe to believe the he and his fellow Africans might have their own stories to tell. African culutre was believe to be inferior to that of the European colonists, so as a gesture to define his roots, Achebe dropped his birth name; Albert, which his parents had given him in honor of Queen Victoria's husband. In 1958 Chinua Achebe published his first novel, Things Fall Apart. This was the first of three novels that Achebe wrote to explore the Ibo past and the destructive effects of colonialism on African cultures. In 1960 Nigeria had over 200 ethnic groups, but was still not a unified country. The four largest ethnic groups were the Ibo, Hausa, Fulani, and Yoruba. Many of the frictions originated in the groups' different views on religion, languages, and outlooks on life. In 1967, things did eventually fall apart. Achebe was one of the many Ibo people who tried to escape and establish a new republic. Overall, somewhere between one million and two million people died from disease and hunger. Several stories in Achebe's collection Girls At War describe these tragedies.

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Nigerian Flag

Summary: "Marriage Is A Private Affair" tells the story of two young people who find themselves caught in a clash between old and new. 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. While Nene is excited to share her plans of marriage, Nnaemeka isn't so sure, for his father, Okeke is strongly against the marriage because Nene belongs to a different tribe. Nnaemeka was able to keep a small glimmer of hope, thinking that with time his father would change his mind. However the old man could only reply, "I will never see her." This leaves Nnaemeka no choice but to move on without the consent of his father. He and Nene begin a happy marriage together, his father being one of the last people to know, and accept it. Then one day, the 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.

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Achebe's "Girls at War" and "Things Fall Apart"

My Opinion:
I liked "Marriage Is A Private Affair" because I think it had a very interesting story line. I find it amazing that still to this day, traditions such as marrying inside your religion still are in affect. Although the story ends in a cliff hanger, I think that it is made up for in the middle of the story. "Marriage Is A Private Affair" brings across a good message that true love is in the eye of the beholder, and that little things such as religion shouldnt matter. I would reccomend this to anyone that likes dramatic and heart compelling stories.

Literary Analysis: Marriage Is A Private Affair.doc