Four Levels of Marriage is a Private Affair

Marriage is a Private Affair Four Levels

Four levels part of the story of a marriage is a private affair are mentioned below:

Literal Comprehension

Marriage is a Private Affair is a story written by the famous Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe (1930-2013). 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 & want to be involved in marriage.

When Nnaemeka said about their love affair to his father (Okeke) 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 to have 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 get involved in marriage. After being involved, they live a happy life. 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.

Time passed, and eight years later Nnaemeka & Nene got two lovely sons & they wanted to meet their grandfather. And, again they sent a letter to his father.

But, that time when Okeke received this letter he was in haste to meet his son’s family. And, they all met with each other. At last, Okeke accepts his son & son’s affair. In this way, the writer insists on a 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 a love marriage which makes more happiness than arrangement. It also suggests we should be free or independent to choose our life partner.

Also, if we are superstitious, narrow-minded, traditional & conservative types of a person it brings us tensions & problems. So, the writer used to suggest that we should make our mind wide perspective, and mutual understanding as well as we should not attach to traditional culture solely.

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 in this text,

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


Before reading this text I used to think that arranged 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 arranged. So, I have decided to do a love marriage like Nnaemeka and Nene.

Read Next: Four Levels of The Cabuliwallah Story

Leave a Comment