Mercer County Community College Part141 Marriage Is A Private Affair Enormous diversity in nationalities and cultures throughout the world often can create obstacles to developing relationships between those who choose to be narrow-minded and prejudiced about ethnic groups outside their own. Conflicts that arise between Okeke and his son is an example of how affiliations with a different culture can disrupt a relationship between two people because of one’s ignorance. Okeke believes that holding onto his culture’s traditions is more important than keeping a close relationship with his son. Nnaemeka’s father chooses to follow his tribe members’ opinions and customs, rather than listen to his son and stand by his decision to marry Nene. Evidence of this is when Okeke commiserates with his fellow villagers to discuss the news of his son’s disobedience. Commenting on how shocking Nnaemeka’s behavior was, the villagers look down on Okeke’s son.
They think he is a bad son, even calling him sick and needing a doctor or herbalist to cure his disobedience. During the tribe members’ discussion, Okeke does not stand up for his son or argue that perhaps the rest of them may be wrong about how serious the situation really is. He agrees that Nnaemeka cannot be an exception, he must follow the traditions no matter what. Which is why Okeke picks out a suitable girl he thinks his son should marry. By following the tribe’s customs, he is able to preserve his family’s history and heritage within the Ibo culture.
Arranging a marriage ensures that Nnaemeka does not have conflicts with members of his tribe, and most especially his father. Tradition of arranged marriages should not be something that makes it seem like Nnaemeka’s father does not care about his son, but rather an alternative to the Western values that marriages be based solely on personal preferences between the couple. Parents in the Ibo tribe, such as Okeke, want their son to follow in their footsteps and culture by allowing marriage to stay with the tradition of being arranged by them. The traditional customs that Okeke enforces seems to be more of an excuse to keep his son with him than a concern for preserving his family traditions. Okeke wants Nnaemeka to do what he wants to do since he does not care about his son’s happiness. Nene is an obstacle to their relationship in the father’s eyes since she is essentially taking his son away from him. She is not a member of the Ibo tribe, and therefore is not inclined to obeying Okeke and those of his community as much as a wife would have to who is of the same nationality. That is why in a sign of rage and vengeance, Okeke mutilates his son and Nene’s wedding picture and then returns it with a nasty letter.
Angry and frustrated, Okeke does this out of his realization that the marriage did not work out as he had planned it to be, since he is alone now without his son. Toward the end of the story, a letter is sent from Nene to Okeke explaining how Nnaemeka’s children are suffering from the absence of a grandfather. This makes Nnaemeka’s father upset and remorseful, and he probably regrets his selfish decision to shun his son’s family. Therefore, Okeke has issues and greivances within himself that make him so regretful and sad in the end. Since the presence of grandchildren causes Okeke to feel the way he does, it is evident that there is another reason why Okeke does not want Nnaemeka to marry Nene. Grandfather Okeke simply wants his son to be with him.
Family is important to him after all, and he finally realizes more fully how lonely he is. In conclusion, there is evidence that Okeke sticks by his traditional customs because of issues which he did not discuss with his son. Following the tribe’s tradition of arranging marriages had a deeper meaning to him than just preserving his culture. Aviation Essays.