Comparing and Contrasting Marriage
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Marriage is a very sensitive social issue. Both scholars and religious identities uniformly argue that marriage should be an everlasting relationship cemented by love. However, in recent times marriage trends are drastically changing. Marriage standards are deteriorating welcoming a new view of marriage. Instances of infidelity and domestic violence have led to breaking of most marriages. Most young people, bachelors and bachelorettes tend to argue that marriage is the most complex and sensitive field. However, not all marriages fail, most are based on true virtues and mutual understanding and they tend to stand strong despite multiple challenges which face them. The prompt of this paper is to analyze three marriage stories by pinpointing similarities as well as differences in the three marriages.
It is arguably right that love is the most essential part in stability of any marriage. All the three stories show elements of love. In the story, “The Chrysanthemums”, by John Steinbeck, Henry and Elisa, demonstrated true love. Their love is projected in their actions. For instance, Henry plows with a tractor in the firm; his wife attends to the flower garden, demonstrating sharing of responsibilities which is only possible if there are in love. The openness within the two couples another defining factor of love in the couple. Henry narrates what he was doing with the three men who bought steer, showing how they trusted each other[ CITATION [Ste]]. Moreover, romantic activities that they engaged demonstrate celebration of their love. Henry takes his wife to diner. In the story, “The Gift of the Magi” by Henry, Jim and Della also demonstrate attributes of true love. Like henry and Elisa, Jim and Della engage in romantic activities. For example their buy each other Christmas present. They go further as to selling their personal possessions so as to express the love they have for each other.Jim sells his golden watch while his wife, Della, cuts her hair to obtain money for Christmas gift[ CITATION [Hen]]. Showing their love is real not based on material possessions. Della shows his love for Jim by preparing him breakfast before he goes to work. In “The Magi”, by Henry, the theme of love is depicted. Love is unsatisfactory aspect seen in all the three stories. “Chrysanthemums” story by John Steinbeck and in the story of “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston there is no love satisfaction. The unfulfilled sexual desire by Elisa shows that there is no sexual satisfaction in the marriage. It is shown by Elisa admiring the stranger[ CITATION [Ste]].In Zora Neale story, “Sweat”, Sykes has infidelity wife, Bertha, which shows that he is not satisfied with Delia only, as stated in the story, “Bertha had been in town three months now. Sykes was still paying her room rent at Della Lewis’-the only house in town that would have taken her in. Sykes took her frequently to Winter Park to “stomps.” He still assured her that he was the sweetest man in the state”[ CITATION [Hur]].
In the story of “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston, there is neither love nor happiness in the marriage of Delia Jones and Sykes. Sykes doesn’t seem to respect his wife.He loads her with a great pile of clothes to wash which he intentionally steps on them[ CITATION [Hur]]. Also, he scares his wife with the horse whip that she thinks is a snake and not apologetic about that[ CITATION [Hur]] Sykes has infidelity wife by the name Bertha. The absence of love is depicted when Sykes is bitten by the snake[ CITATION [Hur]]. Delia seems not to be moved by that as husband had not been around as they had quarreled and he went away[ CITATION [Hur]]. It shows that they never cared about each other. She fails to go for his rescue immediately when her husband pleads for it[ CITATION [Hur]]. Marriages have different lifestyles. The story by Henry, “The Gift of the Magi”, involves Jim and Della, they seem not to be well financially unstable as her wife saves only $1.87 for the Christmas which is not even enough[ CITATION [Hen]]. Della sells her hair in order to have enough money to buy her husband Christmas gift. Her husband, Jim, sales his golden watch in order to buy a gift for her. In the story,“The Chrysanthemums”, by John Steinbeck, Elisa and Henry in their marriage as it appears to be a medium luxurious. As depicted by tools that they use to plow, tractor, their big plantations and they also own a car[ CITATION [Ste]]. Medium lifestyle is noted as Henry sells one of their steers to take his wife out for dinner. They seem to possess wealth as flowers grown by Henry’s wife, as she says, are not grown by anybody else in the village[ CITATION [Ste]]. While Henry sells one of his steers to take his wife for dinner[ CITATION [Ste]], Jim sells his watch to buy his wife a Christmas gift[ CITATION [Hen]]. It shows differences within the marriages. The marriage of Delia and Sykes demonstrates disloyalty in marriage. Each of them seems to have a different lifestyle as no one depends on the other. They spend their life independently on each other. Delia seems to insist on their relationship with Sykes as after quarreling she declares that she is not going anywhere[ CITATION [Hur]].
In conclusion, marriage improves personal understanding between the couple. Different marriages have different set goals but in most cases love is the main objective of marriage. Marriage is a key social aspect in our society. The vows made during their union help in guiding their long term relationships. Love, respect to marriage vows and unending care and support are paramount for any successful marriage. Overtime love may vanish, and the couple may be overwhelmed by hatred. Due to several difficulties in marriage there has emerged issue like low numbers of marriage, and other couples decide to cohabit rather than marrying.
Henry, O. “The Gift of Magi.” 1-9.
Hurston, Zora. “Sweat.” 1-9.
Steinbeck, John. “The Chrysanthemums .” 1-1