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Themes

Although Obi does love Clara, he has allowed his infatuation with her to blind him to the reality of their situation. Ultimately, No Longer At Ease appears to suggest that love is not a weapon that can defend two individuals against disapproval, social stigma, or cultural customs. Love fails to be stronger than cultural and familial expectations.

Questions About Love

  1. Is love always the same, or do different cultures define it differently? If you believe it's always the same, why? What similarities do you see between a typical love affair in the U.S. and Clara and Obi's love affair?
  2. If you believe that love is defined differently in different cultures, what differences do you see in this book?
  3. What role does love play in marriage, according to the ideas expressed in this book?
  4. Do you believe love should trump or transcend all taboos on marriage? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Although Obi loves Clara, his love for her fails to be stronger than the familial and cultural obstacles they encounter.

Obi thinks he loves Clara, but he just loves the idea of her; when faced with the reality of what it would mean to forsake his friends and family for her, he is unable to remain committed. Clara, alternatively, remains faithful even when she sees Obi unraveling financially.

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