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Love, Marriage, and Divorce Term Paper

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Updated: Sep 19th, 2021

It is generally regarded that marriage is the ultimate criterion for having a successful life and a fruitful family history. On the other hand, love is highly considered the principal factor in marriage and divorce. This essay aims to identify and assess common issues surrounding love and marriage as they affect the latter’s planning and maintenance.

Conventional marriage involves a man and a woman who undergo a rite of being betrothed and swears under oath to stay together for the rest of their lives. This process is commonly referred to as a wedding which is a celebration of the unity of two people as they make their vows public declarations. The common wedding arrangement is not the only way of getting married since there are a handful of other factors that influence and affect this decision-making. There are informal marriages or arranged marriages, for example (Nock 53). Obviously, marriage does not only entail the bliss of the wedding rituals and honeymoons. The real essence of marriage lies in the commitment or the span of time in which the vows are kept. However, Gregory Corso’s poem “Marriage” has a very different view of marriage. It seems to be a very pessimistic notion wherein the narrator appears to be debating whether to get married or not. He weighs the possible outcomes, and mostly, these were negative elements such as discrimination of his side of the family who are expected to wait only for food and drink during the wedding, other wedding attendees all trying hard to be jubilant with suggestions of obscene portraits of their honeymoon and the prospect of having scrawny children and a nagging wife. On the other hand, there are also very short glimpses of positive thoughts such as a clean and proper wife and the things he would do with his children which were.

Why are these notions so common? It is because we are too well exposed to these kinds of marriage situations. I have relatives and cousins who got into marriage sooner than expected. Both sides were not able to screen the husband and wife and their families. My cousin does not entirely know the personality of her partner and important background, which literally led to a disastrous marriage.

Marriage is a union of two different individuals in terms of family, culture, and social backgrounds. It is both a sacred and legal process for most societies which leads to specific and established rights, obligations, and provisions (Glenn, p. 15). Again, Gregory Corso’s “Marriage” has a different view. The narrator sees it only as a necessary process for every individual driven by fear of not having someone to marry and be alone for the rest of his life, uttering – “All the universe is married!” He thinks that he should marry since everyone is marrying and expected to be married before they get old or die. The poem has no single reference to marriage resembling a solemn ritual. It is more of a circus the way he describes it. He claims that everyone would know, and yet he himself does not feel excited and does not comprehend the meaning of it all. In addition, he feels as though in despair instead of being celebratory.

This naturally results in marriages that are not planned or expected. There are people who get married for various reasons except for love and commitment. A friend once confided that he got married only because his girlfriend got pregnant. Obviously, they are both not ready to face married life and, more importantly, the responsibility of rearing a child. Apart from not being ready how to build a family, they are also not very familiar with each other’s family background and personality. In consequence, the wedding date becomes a nightmare for each party, and the subsequent married life would seem a very unfamiliar and tumultuous territory, just like what the narrator in “Marriage” by Gregory Corso described.

In my opinion, these are very dark prospects of married life that can be readily avoided by choosing the partner carefully, even during courtship and dating. This would enable my partner and me to get to know more of each other. In addition, we can discuss plans and aspirations, which will be important for preparing for marriage so as not to be surprised by surprises such as pregnancy.

Raising and parenting children is an entirely new dimension of married life. Every couple who plans to get married plans and looks forward to the prospect of having children and guiding them through adulthood. This union serves to provide the setting for having and raising morally upright persons. These children will also become parents in the future and continue the family bloodline and traditions (Brown & Booth 668). Gregory Corso’s “Marriage” presents a varying view on raising children. The narrator certainly knows the responsibilities of fathering. He even knows specific activities that a father and children usually do. In his mind, these are apparently enjoyable opportunities in nurturing a connection and instilling all the messages that he can give to his children. But the narrator is somehow apprehensive of the things he will be able or not able to do. The poem’s narrator even asks himself if he wants to do those things. He seems to be in a bind for things that he does not know or has not experienced yet.

I have relatives and friends who underwent such situations. They were really apprehensive of things that will come. Prospective mothers and fathers cannot help but think if they would be good parents in the future. Many pictures and ideas are formed in their head based on their own experience as children and from references of friends and other relatives. For me, these are unnecessary worries, although unavoidable. However, it can somehow prepare a person to become more responsible in fathering or mother a child by asking questions and internalizing things that are bothering him or her. Instead of fear, this should be replaced by the hope that things would get better in the coming developments so that actions needed to be taken easily achieved.

Marriage failures are not unavoidable situations. Married people are also ordinary persons with independent thoughts and emotions. At times, personal differences arise, which can greatly compromise their marriage. Couples undergoing such troubles oftentimes separate, although legally, they are still bound together. Furthermore, social norms expect them to stay together until their marriage is annulled or until they get divorced (Glenn, p. 15).

The worries of the narrator of Gregory Corso’s “Marriage” can be clearly sourced to the fear of a failed marriage. The possibilities of getting caught in a marriage that has gone wrong are too strongly impressed on the narrator’s mind. These include financial woes and problems with his prospective wife. He even mentioned that he does not want a wife who is like her mother. In the end, he reached a point where he doubts his capacity to love and build a family. He somehow admits that he is incapable of love. It is clear to him that without love, there are no way marriages can survive, such that he even attempts to make a decision of not getting caught in a prison dream called marriage.

The only idea that I can agree with the narrator is the integral role of love in marriage. Without it, there is no point in pursuing a married life. I have relatives in broken marriages, and they almost always claim that the reason that their relationship deteriorated is that they already lost love for their partners. They also added that it all could be traced to one mistake – choosing who to marry. Very good advice they offered is to carefully choose a person to date and spend as much time together and apart before marrying. I totally agree with their suggestions since these are the only ways one can prepare for a lifetime commitment through communication and time. After all, failed marriage does not only mean lost resources and time but also lost emotional growth and opportunities towards a fulfilled and happy life.

Works Cited

  1. Brown, S.L.“The Effect of Union Type on Psychological Well-Being: Depression Among Cohabitors versus Marrieds” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 41(2000):241-255.
  2. Brown, S.L. & A. Booth. “Cohabitation Versus Marriage: A Comparison of Relationship Quality” Journal of Marriage and the Family 58 (1996):668-678.
  3. Glenn, N.D. “Values, Attitudes, and the State of American Marriage” Pp. 15-33 in David Popenoe, D. Blankenhorn and J. B. Elshtain (eds.) Promises to Keep: Decline and Renewal of Marriage in America. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1996.
  4. Nock, S. L. “A Comparison of Marriages and Cohabiting Relationships.” Journal of Family Issues 16-1 (1995): 53-76.
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