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The ceremonies and rituals involved with a marriage are important in many cultures. In each culture, the events surrounding the celebration of a marriage may differ. Some cultures mark the ritual of marriage as a simple rite of passage while others require elaborate rituals to mark the significance of the occasion.
This lesson will discuss a story called “Snapshots of a Wedding” by Bessie Head. “Snapshots of a Wedding” focuses on the marriage of Neo to Kegoletile. The story explores the idea of the contrast between modern and traditional views of marriage. Neo and Kegoletile are expected to follow certain traditions in their marriage. Neo considers herself to be a modern woman—she is well educated and feels that she is above the people in her village. Kegoletile has his own personal conflicts with the upcoming marriage. He is a wealthy man who is expected to marry well. In this lesson, we will explore the cultural significance of the wedding ceremony, as well as conflicts and character development as they are explained through the story of Neo and Kegoletile.
Bessie Head grew up and lived her life in South Africa. She had a troubled life filled with social conflicts and problems with her own personal identity. She never knew her real parents. She grew up with foster parents and eventually ended up in an orphanage. She started a career as a teacher but later focused on her writing and became a journalist. Head eventually became a published author of novels and collections of short stories. She became the first South African woman to publish a collection of short stories when she published The Collector of Treasures in 1977. Her writing reflects the culture and her experiences in South Africa.