In every society, there are expectations that people should only love other people. In "Marriage is A Private Affair," Nnaemaka is truly in love with Nene. However, his father and family's tribe does not accept his engagement, and all but banish him from their tribe. In the short story, "Love Must Not Be Forgotten," Zhang Jie's mother, Zhong Yu, falls deeply in love with a man to whom she is not married to. In both stories, the characters find that true love is not always accepted by society or the government, yet neither Nnaemaka nor Zhong let their love falter when times were tough.
In "Marriage is A Private Affair," Nnaemaka moves to a large city in Africa where people from many different villages go to live and work. Many of the boundaries once set by tribes and villages are put aside by most of the citizens that live there. When Nnaemeka informs his father that he will be married outside the tribe, his father becomes furious with him, and his decision. In a letter written to Nnaemeka, he also includes a picture from his wedding. His father cuts the picture in half and replies saying, "I decided to cut off your wife and send it back to you because I have nothing to do with her." The prejudice was not only limited to Nnaemeka's tribe, but it also spread to his wife's also. Many members of her tribe talked badly about her too.
In "Love Must Not Be Forgotten," because of the belief that marriage is just a form of barter, Zhong is obliged to marry a man she does not love. Even though she is married, she still falls in love with a cadre of the communist party. She knows, however, that if she were to let her feelings be known, to any member of the government, it would put not only her life in danger, but the well being of her only daughter too. Both, Nnaemeka and Zhong face challenges against their love for others. In Nnaemeka's case, the challenges mainly come from prejudice of his own people. Zhong faces difficulties...
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