No Longer At Ease
No Longer At Ease
by Chinua Achebe
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No Longer At Ease Marriage Quotes Page 4

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Quote #10

She stopped and took a deep breath. "I have nothing to tell you in this matter except one thing. If you want to marry this girl, you must wait until I am no more. If God hears my prayers, you will not wait long." She stopped again. Obi was terrified by the change that had come over her. She looked strange as if she had suddenly gone off her head.

"Mother!" he called, as if she was going away. She held up her hand for silence.

"But if you do the thing while I am alive, you will have my blood on your head, because I shall kill myself." She sank down completely exhausted. (14. 47-49)

To marry an osu is one of the worst taboos in Igbo culture. Obi's hope that he might be able to get his mother on his side is dashed forever when she threatens suicide if he marries her before she dies. Obi may have believed that, as Christians, his parents would be more flexible, but he failed to take into account how deeply immersed they are in their own culture.

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