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Marriage is a private affair ( by Chinua Achebe) - Research Paper Example

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“Marriage is a Private Affair” by Chinua Achebe Introduction “Marriage is a Private Affair” by Chinua Achebe first appeared before its readers in the year of 1952. The story revolves round a young couple who are about to get married and their conflict pertaining to the acceptance and adaptability to the new tradition and also about maintaining the old one…
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Marriage is a private affair ( by Chinua Achebe)

Download file to see previous pages... On the other hand, Igbo village is the symbol of ancient and rigid traditions. Encapsulating within the compass of a fascinating saga of love, “Marriage is a Private Affair” by Chinua Achebe, presents a conflict of old and new at different realms of life and include social, psychological and cultural perspectives. Thesis Statement The pieces of Achebe are stuffed into realism and his story; “Marriage is a Private Affair” is not an exception either. To evolve the realism in the story, Achebe employs myriad devices and techniques. This essay intends to give a detailed exposition to the thought process of Achebe and his devices used in the realm of physical, psychological and cultural elements in order to achieve realism in the story. Physical Reality Employed in the Story Achebe in his story, “Marriage is a Private Affair” tries to evoke the physical reality that appeals to all the five senses of a human being. On the plane of this appeal to the five senses, Achebe achieves the physical reality in the story. This technique of Achebe is much inspired from the romantic poetry, especially that of Keats. The only difference is the variation in consequence that the appeals at respective planes have manifested. In Romantic Poetry, there was a sheer feeling of ecstasy and here the technique is employed to generate realism in the story. All the senses of sight, smell, taste, sound and touch are evoked throughout the story to make it real and relate it to all the senses of mankind operating throughout. The sense of sight is evoked through the detailed description of the beauty and the good manners of the woman, whom Nnaemeka’s father selects to marry. Here the usage of words and its representations are so strong that the sense is perfectly evoked through mere words: “I have found a girl who will suit you admirably—Ugoye Nweke, the eldest daughter of our neighbor, Jacob Nweke. She has a proper Christian upbringing. When she stopped schooling some years ago her father (a man of sound judgment) sent her to live in the house of a pastor where she has received all the training a wife could need. Her Sunday school teacher has told me that she reads her Bible very fluently.” Nnaemeka, further narrates his acquaintance with the girl, “He remembered Ugoye quite well, an Amazon of a girl who used to beat up all the boys, himself included, on the way to the stream, a complete dunce at school.” These words suggest the visual imagery to the plane of realism where the light on the character of Nnaemeka is further revealed strongly (Achebe, “Marriage Is a Private Affair”). The appeal of sight and smell is evoked through the description of the women of Ibo tribes in maintaining their household. Along with it, the good food that the Ibo women cook and its detailed description project the appeal of sight and smell. The sense of hearing is made pertinent through the literal audible silence that the readers go through after the confession of Nnaemeka (to marry Nene Atang) to his father Okeke, “I shall never see her,” was the reply. From that night the father scarcely spoke to his son. This feeling of gloomy silence which posses more sense of threat than Okeke’s thundering speeches evokes a true scene of hearing which can be perceived through the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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The paper tells that the story was set to represent two different phases in the society. The two phases include the old generation who are bound by the tradition and the new generation who don’t believe in the tradition. It uses Nnaemeka to represent the new generation while Okeke represents the old generation. It tries to illustrate that today marriage is totally a private affair.

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