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Tasks: Marriage is a Private Affair

These are tasks about the short story "Marriage is a Private Affair" by Chinua Achebe.



  1. What kind of job does Nene have?
  2. What made the old man object to his son's marriage?
  3. What kind of girl did Emeka's father want him to marry? Why?
  4. What happened to the relationship between the father and son?
  5. How did Emeka's father respond when he received the wedding picture?
  6. Why did Nene dislike the village meetings in Lagos?
  7. How was the old man regarded in the village? Explain.
  8. How was contact between father and son reestablished?

Literary Analysis

  1. What is the main plot in the story?
  2. Two generations and two ways of life clash in this story. Say something about the role played by
    • religion
    • tradition
    • age and sex
    • personality
  3. Give a characterisation of Emeka.
  4. Describe the relationship between Nene and Emeka.
  5. How does Okeke react when he is confronted by
    • Okeke?
    • His friend Jonathan?
    • Issie?
  6. Is Okeke a static or dynamic character? Explain.


  1. What role does superstition play in this story? Give examples. What is the difference between religion and superstition?
  2. Arranged marriages are common in many countries and cultures throughout the world.
    a. What is the Western world sceptical of this practice?
    b. What could be held against marriage the Western way?
  3. Is marriage really a private affair?
  4. How would you explain the many marriage break-ups today?






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