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No Longer At Ease
by Chinua Achebe
Joseph Okeke Timeline and Summary
When Obi stays in Lagos on his way to England, Joseph tells him about his many girlfriends. He brings a woman home for the night, and kicks Obi out until he's done pleasuring her. When Obi returns from England, Joseph is pleased that Obi wants to stay with him instead of at a hotel. Obi and Joseph discuss marriage. Joseph says he's getting married and tells Obi that the bride-price was high, and he's uneducated with a low-paying job. Obi is surprised, thinking the bride-price law should have taken care of that. Joseph says the new law has only pushed the price higher. Obi jokes that it's too bad that his family won't profit from his older sisters' bride-prices since they're already married. Joseph says it's no joking matter, Obi will have to pay even more than he does. Obi says he has no intention of paying bride-price, and Joseph says he must intend on becoming a priest then. Joseph is shocked when Obi insists that he's going to marry Clara, even though she's osu. He says Obi must not understand the nature of the taboo, or how strong a tradition it is. The next day, when Obi tells Joseph that he is now engaged to Clara, Joseph asks if he plans to get married the English way or the traditional way. Obi says he hasn't yet decided. Joseph tries to warn him that he will not receive approval from his family, that it also affects future generations including Obi's children. Obi insists he's a pioneer, and Joseph says that the time for being a pioneer in marriage has not yet arrived. Obi brings Joseph to the December meeting of the Umuofia Progressive Union in his brand-new flashy car. It makes him feel proud. Joseph tries to convince Obi not to rush off in a rage after the President of the Union suggested that his relationship with Clara was inappropriate. Joseph brings bottles of beer over to Obi's house, saying that he'll need them for the people who come to mourn his mother's death.