The proposed legalization of same-sex marriage

Presently, it is one of the most vigorously advocated reforms discussed in law reviews, one of the most explosive political questions facing lawmakers, and one of the most provocative issues emerging before American courts. If same-sex marriage is legalized, it could be one of the most revolutionary policy decisions in the history of American family law. The potential consequences, positive or negative, for children, parents, same-sex couples, families, social structure public health, and the status of women are enormous.

Given the importance of the issue, the value of comprehensive debate of the easons for and against legalizing same-sex marriage should be obvious. Marriage is much more than merely a commitment to love one another. Aside from societal and religious conventions, marriage entails legally imposed financial responsibility and legally authorized financial benefits. Marriage provides automatic legal protections for the spouse, including medical visitation, succession of a deceased spouse’s property, as well as pension and other rights.

When two adults desire to “contract” in the eyes of the law, as well a perhaps promise in the eyes of the Lord and their riends and family, to be responsible for the obligations of marriage as well as to enjoy its benefits, should the law prohibit their request merely because they are of the same gender? I intend to prove that because of Article IV of the United States Constitution, there is no reason why the federal government nor any state government should restrict marriage to a predefined heterosexual relationship. Marriage has changed throughout the years.

In Western law, wives are now equal rather than subordinate partners; interracial marriage is now widely accepted, both in statute and in society; and arital failure itself, rather than the fault of one partner, may be grounds for a divorce. Societal change have been felt in marriages over the past 25 years as divorce rates have increased and have been integrated into even upper class families. Proposals to legalize same-sex marriage or to enact broad domestic partnership laws are currently being promoted by gay and lesbian activists, especially in Europe and North America.

The trend in western European nations during the past decade has been to increase legal aid to homosexual relations and has included marriage benefits to some same-sex couples. For example, within the past six years, three Scandinavian countries have enacted domestic partnership laws allowing same-sex couples in which at least one partner is a citizen of the specified country therefore allowing many benefits that heterosexual marriages are given.

In the Netherlands, the Parliament is considering domestic partnership status for same-sex couples, all major political parties favor recognizing same-sex relations, and more than a dozen towns have already done so. Finland provides governmental social benefits to same-sex partners. Belgium allows gay prisoners the right to have conjugal visits from same-sex partners. An overwhelming majority of European nations have granted partial legal status to homosexual relationships. The European Parliament also has passed a resolution calling for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

In the United States, efforts to legalize same-sex domestic partnership have had some, limited success. The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. reported that by mid-1995, thirty-six municipalities, eight counties, three states, five state agencies, and wo federal agencies extended some benefits to, or registered for some official purposes, same-sex domestic partnerships. In 1994, the California legislature passed a domestic partnership bill that provided official state registration of same-sex couples and provided limited marital rights and privileges relating to hospital visitation, wills and estates, and powers of attorney.

While California’s Governor Wilson eventually vetoed the bill, its passage by the legislature represented a notable political achievement for advocates of same-sex marriage. The most significant prospects for legalizing same-sex marriage in the near future are in Hawaii, where advocates of same-sex marriage have won a major judicial victory that could lead to the judicial legalization of same-sex marriage or to legislation authorizing same-sex domestic partnership in that state. In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court, in Baehr v.

Lewin, vacated a state circuit court judgment dismissing same-sex marriage claims and ruled that Hawaii’s marriage law allowing heterosexual, but not homosexual, couples to obtain marriage licenses constitutes sex discrimination under the tate constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and Equal Rights Amendment. The case began in 1991 when three same-sex couples who had been denied marriage licenses by the Hawaii Department of Health brought suit in state court against the director of the department. Hawaii law required couples wishing to marry to obtain a marriage license.

While the marriage license law did not explicitly prohibit same-sex marriage at that time, it used terms of gender that clearly indicated that only heterosexual couples could marry. The coupl sought a judicial decision that the Hawaii marriage license law is nconstitutional, as it prohibits same-sex marriage and allows state officials ro deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples on account of the heterosexuality requirement. Baehr and her attorney sought their objectives entirely through state law, not only by filing in state rather than federal court, but also by alleging exclusively violations of state law–the Hawaii Constitution.

The state moved for judgment on the pleadings and for dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim; the state’s motion was granted in October, 1991. Thus, the ircuit court upheld the heterosexuality marriage requirement as a matter of law and dismissed the plaintiffs’ challenges to it. Yet recently the Circuit Court of Hawaii decided that Hawaii had violated Baehr and her partner’s constitutional rights by the fourteenth amendment and that they could be recognized as a marriage.

The court found that the state of Hawaii’s constitution expressly discriminated against homosexuals and that because of Hawaii’s anti-discrimination law they must re evaluate the situation. After the ruling the state immediately asked for a stay of judgment, until the ppeal had been convened, therefore putting off any marriage between Baehr and her partner for at least a year. By far Baehr is the most positive step toward actual marriage rights for gay and lesbian people. Currently there is a high tolerance for homosexuals throughout the United States and currently in Hawaii.

Judges do not need the popularity of the people on the Federal or circuit court level to make new precedent. There is no clear majority that homosexuals should have marriage rights in the general public, and yet the courts voted for Baehr. The judiciary has its own mind on ow to interpret the constitution which is obviously very different then most of American popular belief. This is the principal reason that these judges are not elected by the people, so they do not have to bow to people pressure.

The constitutional rights argument for same-sex marriage affirms that there is a fundamental constitutional right to marry, or a broader right of privacy or of intimate association. The essence of this right is the private, intimate association of consenting adults who want to share their lives and commitment with each other and that same-sex couples have just as much ntimacy and need for marital privacy as heterosexual couples; and that laws allowing heterosexual, but not same-sex, couples to marry infringe upon and discriminate against this fundamental right.

Just as the Supreme Court compelled states to allow interracial marriage by recognizing the claimed right as part of the fundamental constitutional right to marry, of privacy and of intimate association so should states be compelled now to recognize the fundamental right of homosexuals to do the same. If Baehr ultimately leads to the legalization of same-sex marriage or broad, marriage like omestic partnership in Hawaii, the impact of that legalization will be felt widely.

Marriage recognition principles derived from choice-of-law and full-faith-and-credit rules probably would be invoked to recognize same-sex Hawaiian marriages as valid in other states. The impact of Hawaii’s decision will immediately impact marriage laws in all of the United States. The full faith and credit clause of the U. S. Constitution provides that full faith and credit shall be given to the “public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. “

Marriage Petition Essay

The I-130 petition is filed by a US citizen or lawful permanent resident to establish the relationship of certain alien relatives who may wish to live permanently in the United States. If you are a citizen, you may file this form for your husband, wife, or unmarried child under 21 years old; an unmarried child over 21; a married child of any age; a brother or sister if you are at least 21 years old; or your parent if you are at least 21 years old. If you are a lawful permanent resident you may file this form for your husband or wife; or your unmarried child (any age).

Note: It must be remembered that the Immigration Service is very suspicious of marriage cases, especially where the marriage is relatively recent. Therefore, you must be prepared to provide substantial documentation concerning the bona-fides of the marriage at the time of the interview. Please read the instructions, attached to the petition, carefully to determine who can file the petition and what documents will be needed to establish the family relationship, and to establish US citizenship or lawful permanent residence status.

On the I-130 form, the petitioner is the US citizen, or in some cases the US lawful permanent resident alien who is seeking to bring his or her relative to the United States. The beneficiary is the non-resident alien relative of the petitioner who is seeking entry as a permanent resident to the United States. The I-130 petition is used to file for a spouse, parent, a minor child, an adult son or daughter, or a brother or sister. Note: The biographic information forms (G-325A) are only used if it is a spousal petition. In that case, one form is completed for the husband, and one form for the wife.

A residency type photo is attached to the biographic form of the applicable spouse, and the forms are filed together with the I-130 petition. If the beneficiary is in the United States and eligible to file for adjustment of status, he or she should also complete form I-485, together with the biographic information form, photographs, and a medical exam. In addition, the petitioner as well as any other person who will be guaranteeing the beneficiary’s support in the United States should complete the Affidavit of Support (form I-864).

The beneficiary must also attach a copy of his or her birth certificate, passport, I-94, and any other documents that may be required. Again, please read the instructions attached to the application to determine what other documents may be needed, and what the filing fees are. Note: If you are subject to Section 245 (i) of the immigration act, you may also have to pay an additional penalty fee of $1,000. 00. A separate package of each of the above documents, together with an original I-130 petition, must also be provided for each accompanying family member (spouse or minor children), together with applicable filing fees.

In addition, if the applicant for adjustment is in status and wishes to travel outside of the United States while the application for adjustment is pending, then he or she should submit form I-131, together with an explanation of the need to travel, photos, and appropriate filing fee. Both the petition and adjustment application, together with all of the supporting documentation and relating applications, should be hand-delivered, or mailed, to the local immigration office that has jurisdiction over the area where the beneficiary resides.

You should call the local office to determine whether they prefer that you hand-deliver or mail the application, and which method will result in faster processing, since local office procedures frequently change. Note: Whenever you mail any forms or documents to the immigration service, you should always do so by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by some form of express mail for which you can obtain proof of receipt. This is very important in the event immigration loses your application.

In that event you can submit your proof of receipt, with evidence of payment, and you can reestablish your old priority date. Once the application is properly filed, the Immigration Service will issue a temporary work authorization, and will schedule the alien(s) to have his or her fingerprints taken at a local immigration support center. In addition, if it had been requested, the Immigration Service will issue a document known as an advance parole permitting the person to travel out of the US and re-enter without having the application for adjustment being considered abandoned.

When the case is ready for completion, the petitioner, beneficiary, and any accompanying family members will be scheduled for an interview on the petition and application(s). The time frame for issuing work authorization, advance paroles, and scheduling the appointment varies with each immigration office. If an interview can be scheduled within 90 days, then INS may not issue a temporary work permit.

Following the interview, if everything is in order, the immigration examiner will place a temporary resident stamp in beneficiary’s passport (and accompanying family members if any), which will constitute evidence of permanent residence status and work authorization until the alien card arrives in the mail. It usually takes 3-6 months to receive the alien card, but during this period the person is entitled to all the rights of a permanent resident including the right to work, travel, attend school, petition for qualifying family members, etc.

Medea As A Heroine

In Euripides’ Medea, the main character of the same name is a controversial heroine. Medea takes whatever steps necessary to achieve what she believes is right and fair. She lived in a time when women were expected to sit in the shadows and take the hand that life dealt them without a blink of their eye. Medea took very radical steps to liberate herself and destroys the life of the man who ruined hers. She refused to accept the boundaries that a patriarchal society set upon her. Medea was a very wise and calculated woman who was brave enough to leave her homeland, along with everything she knew and loved, in order to follow her heart down the path of what she expected to be eternal happiness.

Medea, a princess and sorceress, was from a small island in the Black Sea called Colchis. She met her husband Jason when she used her powers to help him secure the Golden Fleece. It was during this time that she fell in love with him and decided to leave her family and home so that she could be with Jason. The fact that Medea was willing to leave all that she knew for Jason is very brave. Women in Medea’s time were normally given away to the men that they married. Medea, on the other hand, married Jason because she wanted to. That was a large risk for her to take and many women probably looked at it as a liberating and heroic act.

When Jason left Medea to marry Glauce, Medea was plagued with sadness and then with anger. The man she loved, the man that she gave up her life for, had betrayed her. In the patriarchal society that Medea lived in, it was not acceptable for a woman to protest any decision made by her husband. Medea went against all social standards and took revenge on Jason for the wrongs that he had committed. She was willing to take any chance and sacrifice even her most valued possessions. Medea knew that the best way to avenge the wrongs of Jason was to kill Glauce and the children. It was a huge sacrifice for Medea to kill the children that she loved, but she allowed herself to look past that love and only see her hate and contempt for Jason. Medea was willing to go against every rule that society set, so that her husband wouldn’t get away with leaving her for political reasons. Medea is once again a heroine.

If Medea were alive today, many people would not consider her a heroine. She found a way to satisfy her own needs, which were supposed to be secondary to her husband’s. Medea was a leader of women, and although the men may not have appreciated it, it was an act that was guaranteed to catch the attention of every oppressed woman alive at the time. Medea was a heroine ahead of her time.

Media: Character Analysis

Media was a very diverse character who possesses several characteristics which were unlike the average woman during her time. As a result of these characteristics she was treated differently by members of the society. Media was a different woman for several reasons; she possessed super natural powers , she was manipulative, vindictive, and she was driven by revenge. The life that Media lived and the situations she encountered, (one could say) were partly responsible for these characteristics and her actions.

Because Media was such a different woman people in her society were afraid of her, including men. As a result of this, before Jason, she never experienced being in love. When she finally experienced this type of love she went to no end for Jason. To protect Jason and her love for him she killed the beast guarding the Golden Fleece, she killed her brother, and she left her home, family and everything she knew for him. Most women would not have gone that far for love, especially women during her time; but Media was not your average woman. All of the things she did for Jason will come into play, and partly account for her actions at the end of the play.

Although Media killed and did things that people felt were wrong it is evident that through out the play that along with her other characteristics, she was a caring and loving person. The first time we are shown this is when we discover everything she did for Jason. If she did not love him she would not have done those things. We are also shown that Media can be a caring person by the love that she had for her children. Although she killed them in the end during the play she was a mother to her children, she showed affection to them, and she did think twice before she killed them. It is because Media was a caring and loving person that she did what she did. Her feelings were hurt and her heart was broken; and she did what she felt she had to do to hurt Jason for hurting her.

When Media Jason discovers Jasons plans to marry Creons daughter she was hurt deeply. But when Creon tells her that she was being exiled we see her hurt turn into vengeance. Because Media was a manipulative person she was only needed one day to plan and execute her plan to destroy Jason. Her plan was to leave Jason with nothing, the way she felt he left her. She killed his wife to be, her father and her children. Media killed everything Jason loved and everything that would a benefit to him to leave Jason with nothing.

She did all of these things, even killed her own children because she was hurt by love.
You must look at all of these things to explain Medias actions. Without knowing her background it would be very difficult to explain her extreme actions during this play. Its not enough to say her feelings were hurt and she lashed out, you have to look at, analyze, and breakdown, Medias life and experiences.

Medea’s Revenge

Medea, a play by the Greek playwright Euripides, explores the Greek-barbarian dichotomy through the character of Medea, a princess from the”barbarian”, or non-Greek, land of Colchis. Throughout the play, it become sevident to the reader that Medea is no ordinary woman by Greek standards.Central to the whole plot is Medea’s barbarian origins and how they are related to her actions. In this paper, I am attempting to answer questions such as how Medea behaves like a female, how she acts heroically from a male point of view,why she killed her children, if she could have achieved her goal without killing them, if the murder was motivated by her barbarian origins, and how she deals with the pain of killing her children.

As an introduction to the play, the status of women in Greek society should be briefly discussed. In general, women had very few rights. In the eyes of men, the main purposes of women in Greek society were to do house work such as cooking and cleaning, and bear children. They could not vote, own property, or choose a husband, and had to be represented by men in all legal proceedings. In some ways, these Greek women were almost like slaves. There is a definite relationship between this subordination of women and what transpires in the play. Jason decides that he wants to divorce Medea and marry the princess of Corinth, casting Medea aside as if they had never been married.

This sort of activity was acceptable by Greek standards, and shows the subordinate status of the woman, who had no say in any matter like this. Even though some of Medea’s actions were not typical of the average Greek woman, she still had attitudes and emotions common among women. For instance, Medea speaks out against women’s status in society, proclaiming that they have no choice of whom to marry, and that a man can rid themselves of a woman to get another whenever he wants, but a woman always has to “keep [her]eyes on one alone.” (231-247)

Though it is improbable that women went around openly saying things of this nature, it is likely that this attitude was shared by most or all Greek women. Later in the play, Medea debates with herself over whether or not to kill her children: “Poor heart, let them go, have pity upon the children.” (1057). This shows Medea’s motherly instincts in that she cares about her children. She struggles to decide if she can accomplish her goal of revenge against Jason without killing her children because she cares for them and knows they had no part in what their father did.

Unfortunately, Medea’s desire to exact revenge on Jason is greater than her love for her children, and at the end of the play she kills them. Medea was also a faithful wife to Jason.She talks about how she helped Jason in his quest for the Golden Fleece, then helped him escape, even killing her own brother. (476-483). The fact that she was willing to betray her own family to be with Jason shows her loyalty to him.Therefore, her anger at Jason over him divorcing her is understandable. On the other hand, Medea shows some heroic qualities that were not common among Greek women.

For example, Medea is willing to kill her own brother to be with Jason. In classical Greece, women and killing were probably not commonly linked. When she kills her brother, she shows that she is willing to do what is necessary to “get the job done”, in this case, to be with Jason.Secondly, she shows the courage to stand up to Jason. She believes that she has been cheated and betrayed by him. By planning ways to get back at him for cheating on her, she is standing up for what she believes, which in this case is that she was wronged by Jason, but in a larger sense, she is speaking out against the inferior status of women, which effectively allows Jason to discard Medea at will.

Third, she shows that she is clever and resourceful. Rather than use physical force to accomplish her plans, she uses her mind instead: “it is best to…make away with them by poison.” (384-385) While physical strength can be considered a heroic quality, cleverness can be as well. She does in fact poison the princess and the king of Corinth; interestingly, however, she does not poison them directly. “I will send the children with gifts…to the bride…and if she wears them upon her skin…she will die.” (784-788) This shows her cleverness because she is trying to keep from being linked to the crime, though everyone is able to figure out that she was responsible anyway.

In a way, though, she is almost anti-heroic because she is not doing the “dirty work” herself, which makes her appear somewhat cowardly. Finally, there is the revenge factor. Many times heroes were out for revenge against someone who did them or a friend wrong, and in this case Medea is no exception, since she wants to have revenge against Jason for divorcing her without just cause. There are two main reasons why Medea decides to kill her children. The first, and more obvious one, is that she feels that it is a perfect way to complement the death of the princess in getting revenge on Jason. When she tells the chorus of the plans to kill the children, they wonder if she has the heart to kill her children, to which she replies, “[y]es, for this is the best way to wound my husband.” (817).

This shows that she believes that by killing her children, she will basically ruin Jason’s life, effectively getting her revenge. The second reason for Medea killing her children has nothing to do with revenge. If she left her children with Jason, they would be living in a society that would look down upon them since they have partly barbarian origins.She did not want her children to have to suffer through that. Also, if her children are mocked for being outsiders, then this reflects badly on Medea, and she said that she does not want to give her enemies any reason to laugh at her.(781-782)

Since she does not want to leave her children with Jason, they really have no place else to where they could go, being barbarians in a Greek city:”[m]y children, there is none who can give them safety.” (793) For these two reasons, Medea decides that killing her children is the best way to accomplish her plan: getting revenge and keeping her children away from Jason. Whether or not Medea could have accomplished her goal without killing her children is debatable. On one hand, if we look at Medea’s objective only as seeking revenge against Jason, then she could have accomplished that without killing her children.

Killing the princess, Jason’s new wife, would cause enough grief for Jason so that her goal would be accomplished. We can infer that the death of Jason’s wife would be more damaging to him than the deaths of his children because Jason was going to let Medea take the children with her in to exile and did not try to keep them for himself. Therefore, once the princess was dead, killing the children, while it causes additional grief for Jason, really is not necessary. Even though Medea does not seem to believe it, killing her children probably causes more pain for her than Jason.

She just does not see it because she is so bent on revenge against Jason. On the other hand, if we define Medea’s objective in two parts, one being revenge, and the other to keep the children away, then it is possible that she had to kill her children. As for the revenge part, it was not necessary that she kill her children for the reasons just discussed. However, she may have needed to kill them to keep Jason from getting them. If Jason decided he wanted his children,there is not much Medea could do about it, other than kill them. Also, it is possible that she did not want to take them with her into exile because they could make it more difficult for her to reach Athens.

For whatever the reason,however, it is probable that she needed to kill her children to carry out her plan, since she accomplished two different goals through their deaths. The murder of Medea’s children is certainly caused in part by her barbarian origins. The main reason that Jason decides to divorce Medea to marry the princess is that he will have a higher status and more material wealth being married to the king’s daughter. (553-554) In other words, Jason believes that Medea’s barbarian origins are a burden to him, because there is a stigma attached to that. In his mind, having the chance to be rich outweighs the love of a barbarian wife.

Medea’s barbarian status is a burden to herself as well.Once separated from Jason, she becomes an outsider with no place to go, because the barbarians were not thought too highly of in Greek society. Had Medea not been a barbarian, it is likely that Jason would not have divorced her, and therefore, she would not have had to kill her children. But since she is a barbarian, this sets in motion the events of the play, and in her mind the best course of action is to kill her children. Just because she is non-Greek does not necessarily mean that her way of thinking would be different from the Greeks; in other words, her way of thinking did not necessarily cause her to kill her children.

Medea deals with the pain that the deaths of her children cause her quite well. She does this by convincing herself that her revenge against her husband was worth the price of her children’s death. When asked about killing her children, she replies, “So it must be. No compromise is possible.” (819)This shows that she is bent on revenge, and that she is justifying their deaths to get her revenge. However, she does struggle with her decision to kill them.She is sad that she must take their lives, but also tells herself that it is in their best interests, as evidenced by what she says to her children: “I wish you happiness, but not in this world.” (1073)

She does not seem to have a problem with killing her children once it comes time to actually carry out the act. Buther motherly instincts will not allow her to totally abandon her children after they are dead, as she decides to hold a yearly feast and sacrifice at their burial site. (1383-1384) But in the end, we can see that she dealt with the pain surprisingly well. Two main themes are present in Medea: Medea’s barbarian origins, and her desire for revenge against Jason. Her barbarian status is really what starts the actions of the play.

It is what makes her a less desirable wife to Jason than the princess, and causes him to leave her. This then leads to her thoughts of revenge against Jason, and her decision to kill her children as away to exact that revenge. As far as revenge goes, Medea is heroic in that she is standing up against an evil done to her. Throughout most of the play, she spends her time plotting her revenge against Jason, waiting until the right moment to unleash her plan. She uses her cleverness to trick Jason and the others into believing that she was not upset with him. In the end, we can see that Medea’s barbarian origins were a major factor in the play, and that Medea was no ordinary woman in Greek terms.

William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure

Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure can be seen as an early account of sexual harassment. While the issue of women’s rights had hardly been explored at the time the play was first performed, Measure for Measure touches on issues of sexuality, independence, and the objectification of women. Despite these serious issues, the play is considered a comedy, and the story it tells is filled with amusing characters as well as broad sociological questions.

The plot centers around the fate of Claudio, who is arrested by Lord Angelo, the temporary leader of Vienna. Angelo is left in charge by the Duke, who pretends to leave town but instead dresses as a friar to observe the goings-on in his absence. Angelo is strict, moralistic, and unwavering in his decision-making; he decides that there is too much freedom in Vienna and takes it upon himself to rid the city of brothels and unlawful sexual activity. Laws against these behaviors and institutions already exist, and Angelo simply decides to enforce them more strictly. Claudio is arrested for impregnating Juliet, his lover, before they were married. Although they were engaged and their sexual intercourse was consensual, Claudio is sentenced to death in order to serve as an example to the other Viennese citizens.

Isabella, Claudio’s sister, is about to enter a nunnery when her brother is arrested. She is unfailingly virtuous, religious, and chaste. When she hears of her brother’s arrest, she goes to Angelo to beg him for mercy. He refuses, but suggests that there might be some way to change his mind. When he propositions her, saying that he will let Claudio live if she agrees to have sexual intercourse with him, she is shocked and immediately refuses. Her brother agrees at first but then changes his mind. Isabella is left to contemplate a very important decision.

Isabella is, in a way, let off the hook when the Duke, dressed as a friar, intervenes. He tells her that Angelo’s former lover, Mariana, was engaged to be married to him, but he abandoned her when she lost her dowry in a shipwreck. The Duke forms a plan by which Isabella will agree to have sex with the Angelo, but then Mariana will go in her place. The next morning, Angelo will pardon Claudio and be forced to marry Mariana according to the law.

Everything goes according to plan, except that Angelo does not pardon Claudio, fearing revenge. The provost and the Duke send him the head of a dead pirate, claiming that it belonged to Claudio, and Angelo believes that his orders were carried out. Isabella is told that her brother is dead, and that she should submit a complaint to the Duke, who is due to arrive shortly, accusing Angelo of immoral acts.

The Duke returns in his usual clothes, saying that he will hear all grievances immediately. Isabella tells her story, and the Duke pretends not to believe her. Eventually, the Duke reveals his dual identity, and everyone is forced to be honest. Angelo confesses to his misdeeds, Claudio is pardoned, and the Duke asks Isabella to marry him.

Measure for Measure has long been criticized for its unsatisfying resolution and logical gaps. Why, for instance, should Isabella agree to the Duke’s plan when it would force Angelo and Mariana to commit the same crime as Claudio and Juliet, of which she does not approve? The Duke pardons everyone at the conclusion of the play, including Angelo, who is sentenced only to marriage. Isabella presumably leaves the nunnery to marry the Duke, though she never actually agrees to the proposal.

The female characters in Measure for Measure are unusually weak for Shakespeare. The men take complete control of the plot, while the women simply follow along. The major decision facing Isabella is avoided, though it presents a particularly difficult dilemma considering Isabella’s desire to be a nun.

Measure for Measure did not achieve great popularity until recently. Perhaps it was written ahead of its time, during an era when the answers to the questions posed by Shakespeare seemed obvious. Today, however, Measure for Measure seems to raise central issues of sexuality, familial loyalty, morality, and religion.

Madame Bovary: The Tragic Love Triangle of Yonville

Gustave Flubert’s masterpiece, Madame Bovary, was first published in 1857. The novel shocked many of its readers and caused a chain reaction that spread through all of France and ultimately called for the prosecution of the author. Since that time however, Madame Bovary, has been recognized by literature critics as being the model for the present literary period, being the realistic novel period. It is now considered a novel of great worth and one which contains an important and moving plot. In addition, it provides a standard against which to compare the works of writers to follow. It is nearly impossible to truly understand modern European and American fiction without reading, Madame Bovary.

Charles Bovary, the only son of a middle-class family, became a doctor and set up his practice in a rural village. He then married a women who was quite older then himself. He was unhappily married to her saying that “Her dresses barely hung on her bony frame”, This coming right before her death. Upon his wife’s death, Charles married an attractive young women named Emma Roualt, the daughter of one of his patients. Emma married Charles with overwhelming expectations. She thought marriage would be filled with three things, “bliss, passion, and ecstasy”. Emma had a character that was 1) dissatisfied 2) adulterous and 3) free spending. For a while she was excited and pleased by her marriage, but overwhelmed by her new life, she quickly became dissatisfied. As a result of her dissatisfaction she became mentally ill.

For the sake of her health the Bovary’s moved to a new town, Yonville, where their daughter was born. Emma’s unhappiness continued, and she began to have romantic feelings toward Leon, a young law clerk. After Leon left the town in order to attend law school. Emma’s boredom and frustration became more intense after Leon left. She began to forget her role as a wife and mother. Charles tried many times to please but none of his efforts were successful, and she did not value or understand Charles’ love for her. Finally Emma had an adulterous affair with Rodolphe, a local land owner.

Upon realizing Emma’s intentions of an affair with him he states that he is “Gasping for love”, and this wins her heart over. Rodolphe then leaves for a period of six weeks and Emma then becomes seriously ill again. After her recovery, Rodolphe returns and the only explanation for his actions is “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. She then runs across Leon in Rowen and began to resume were they left off. In order to afford the trips to Rowen to see Leon and satisfy her own needs, Emma spent her husbands money freely and incurred many debts. She kept this secret from Charles and managed to obtain a Power of Attorney, so that she would have full control over their financial affairs.

Eventually her unpaid bills went long overdue and judgment was obtained against the creditors. She owed a vast sum of money, and the sheriff’s officers arrived to confiscate the family property. Emma tried frantically to raise the money and finally turning to Leon, but he was unable to help, nor was he willing. She even tried to get back Rodolphe, by saying “I stayed with you, because I couldn’t tear myself away…”, he would have no part of her anymore and unwilling to help. Out of shame and despair of herself, she poisons herself to die. Shortly afterwards, now a ruined and broken man, also died, leaving their daughter to a life of poverty.

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert: Review

The novel Madame Bovary was written by Gustave Flaubert in 1856. Flaubert was born in 1821, in Rouen, France. His father, being a doctor, caused him to be very familiar with the horrible sights of the hospital, which he in turn uses in his writings. In this novel, Charles Bovary, an undereducated doctor of medicine has two wives in his life. The first, Madame Dubuc, died. Emma Rouault, his second wife, after many affairs commits suicide. The doom of Charles and Emma’s marriage is described by an elaborate connection of symbolic relations. The relationships of the shutter’s sealing bang, Emma’s long dress that keeps her from happiness, the plaster priest that conveys the actions of the couple, the restless greyhound, and Emma burning her wedding bouquet are all images of eternal doom to the couple’s marriage.

Charles Bovary first met Emma Rouault when he was on a medical call to fix her father’s broken leg. Not long after his arrival Emma catches his interest. Her actions satisfy his hearts need for a young, fresh mind and body. The old widow that he is currently married to dies of chagrin. Charles is sadden by this but his mind stays on Emma. After frequent visits to her farm, even after her father’s leg was healed, Charles gives a thought about if he would like to marry Emma but he is uncertain. Her father sees Charles’ interest in his daughter and takes it upon himself to engage the two. He waits until Charles is departing and then confronts him about the engagement. As expected Charles accepts the marriage and the father runs to the house to receive Emma’s acceptance. This was to be shown by the opening of a shutter door. “Suddenly he heard a sound from the house: the shutter had slammed against the wall; the catch was still quivering” (Flaubert 21). The sound that the shutter makes is the beginning of an end. The bang seals the never-ending doom of the couple’s marriage (Turnell 101).

Emma’s wedding is a special occasion. It is held in the far off pasture of their farm. After all the guests arrive the wedding procession proceeds to the pasture. As they walk “…she stopped to raise it [her dress], and daintily, with her gloved hands, to pick off the wild grasses and prickly thistles” (Flaubert 23). Her dress is symbolic of the obstacles to her happiness. She is at her wedding and she has to stop and pick grass and twigs off of her dress. The fact that she is suppose to be happy at her wedding and she is not, is the obstacle. Another example Flaubert gives mentions how Rodolphe “without slowing down, leaned across whenever it happened, and pulled it loose…” (Flaubert 137). By helping her remove her dress from the snagged stirrup, he was clearing the obstacle and was able to make Emma happy. Unlike Charles who simply stood by and waited at his wedding. Emma’s dress is an obstacle with her lovers (Turnell 103).

The plaster priest, first seen in Tostes in Emma’s garden, is symbolic of the pride of their marriage and later the deterioration of their religion. As she examines the garden for the first time she notices the plaster priest posed reading the bible. As time goes on the plaster on the priest starts to flake off, showing the demoralization and fragileness of her religion (Turnell 103). The foot of the plaster figure also breaks off over time. This is symbolic of the future failures in Charles’ medical practices. The plaster priest continues to be a symbolic figure in Charles and Emma’s lives. Emma becomes depressed due to her failing attempts to be accepted as high class. Charles, showing concern with Emma’s health when she begins drinking vinegar and coughing from the depression, arranges a move to Yonville. The plaster priest falls off the cart and “…shattered into a thousand pieces…” (Flaubert 76) at the arrival to Yonville. This event foreshadows the doom of the end of their marriage (Turnell 103).

While in Tostes Charles receives a greyhound from a patient. Emma has previously seen pictures in the convent she spent her childhood in, of high-class people walking their greyhounds. Due to that Emma is always seeking to be considered high-class, especially after being invited to the ball unknowingly just as the high-middle class representative of her community. She thinks the ownership of a greyhound will enhance her social status. One day as she sits under a pavilion, allowing her dog to roam aimlessly, she begins to think of how bad her marriage is and how she wants out. “‘Oh, why did I ever get married?”‘ These are the first thoughts of the marriage’s damnation. As the greyhound wanders through the park it symbolizes the restless heart and mind of Emma. Emma becomes depressed when she finds out that she is not invited to the ball this year. The depression is so deep that Charles has to move them to Yonville. The greyhound runs away on their way and pushes Emma’s depression over the edge and she continues the thoughts of a doomed marriage (Turnell 103).

At the beginning of their marriage Emma and Charles come back to his house. Charles has not taken “the other bride’s bouquet!” out of his room until “She looked at it.” He then takes it to the attic. Emma sees this and automatically thinks of what will be done with her bouquet. As Emma’s thoughts drift away from Charles and her marriage to him, she finds herself pursuing other affairs. These affairs led her to the end of her marriage. She burns her wedding bouquet. This symbolizes the end of their doomed marriage. The ashes that fly into the air are compared to black butterflies, which takes upon itself a mortifying image of the delicacy of Emma and yet her dark, unrelenting urn to end the horrible marriage that she is trapped in (Turnell 103).

These symbolic relationships represent Charles and Emma’s doomed marriage. Flaubert shows that from the day he made them meet until death does them part they are doomed and will not succeed in love or happiness.

Works Cited

Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. 1857. Trans. Lowell Bair. New York: Bantam, 1981.

Turnell, Martin. “Madame Bovary.” Flaubert: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Raymond Girauld. Twentieth Century Views. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice, 1964. 97-111.

Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Like Water For Chocolate is a fantasy-type love story by Laura Esquivel. It teaches a lot about family life in Mexico, the country where it took place. The owner of the De la Garza ranch where the family lived was Mama Elena, who raised three daughters on her own because her husband had died. Tita, the youngest daughter and main character, was the youngest of the three and a wonderful cook. Tita was the narrator’s great-aunt, so the story took place in the earlier part of the 20th century. Tita spent most of her life in the kitchen putting together amazing recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A liitle bit of help from Nacha, the cook, made her more dynamic in her cooking.

One day, Tita fell in love with a young man named Pedro. Pedro and his father came to the ranch to ask Mama Elena if Pedro could ask for Tita’s hand, but the rules in their family were that the youngest daughter could never get married. According to tradition, Tita would have to stay at home and take care of her mother until the day her mother died. This broke Tita and Pedro’s hearts. Mama Elena told Pedro he could marry Tita’s sister, Rosaura though, and he did just so he could be closer to Tita. He never felt any love for Rosaura.

Meanwhile, Tita stayed at home everyday, cooking and feeling depressed, and Mama Elena did not make things any better. She always yelled at Tita, and made Tita do everything for her. Tita could hardly even talk to Pedro. Either, because Mama Elena was constantly watching, and would yell at them every time they talked. Later, Pedro moved away with Rosaura and her other sister, Gertrudis, had run away with some man on horseback, and later became a prostitute. Nacha died, leaving only Mama Elena, Tita, and Chencha, the servant, left on the ranch. One day, Tita went insane because of her overly strict mother, so her mother sent her with Dr. Brown, so he could take her to a mental institution.

He was so in love with Tita that he never took her there. He took care of her in his house and they later planned to get married. Then, when he was gone on a little trip, Tita and Pedro met up, and got back together. When Dr. Brown came back, Tita told him the news about her and Pedro, and he told her to decide who she wanted. Obviously, she chose her long lost love, Pedro. So finally, Tita and Pedro got married, and even though Mama Elena would never talk to Tita again, she did not care. She finally got to be with the love of her life forever.

Like Water For Chocolate contained a lot of symbolism. Through her cooking, Tita had a lot of power. When Tita cooked food, she could make people’s feelings change. At Pedro and Rosaura’s wedding, the tears Tita cried into the wedding cake because of her lost love make everyone who ate the cake start vomiting, thinking about their lost loves. Also, because Tita could hardly be near Pedro when they were on the ranch, her cooking aroused Pedro, and at the kitchen table he could hardly control himself.

Each chapter of the book begins with one of Tita’s special recipes and how to prepare the recipe. Esquirel had a very unique way of dividing up the chapters. Every chapter is named with a different month of the year, so there are twelve chapters in all. I feel she did a great job describing and defining each chapter in its own little way.

Like Water For Chocolate is definitely different from any other book I have read. It kept me interested, making me want to not put the book down. I feel you should definitely read this number-one bestseller in Mexico in 1990. Latter this book was translated into English for our reading enjoyment.

Like Water for Chocolate: Review

Food equals memory and memory equals immortality. In the recipes we pass down from generation to generation, in the food of our mothers, we reawaken the past, make the present more real, perhaps capture a bit of the future. Food is about history, with handed down recipes such as in Like Water for Chocolate, the chef can remember the past. Tita, when she cooked could remember Nacha and her mother. Food is a major part of the story, and is somewhat obvious as the title itself is about food. The title (Like Water for Chocolate) itself, is a Mexican expression that refers to the making of hot chocolate: Water is used rather than milk, and must be brought to a vigorous boil.

Therefore, an extremely agitated person is said to be “like water for chocolate,” so is a person in a state of sexual arousal. A recurring symbol in Like Water for Chocolate is food (the title is a good tip-off of that). Hardly a scene goes by without someone eating or preparing a meal and some of the more hilarious sequences surround a pair of banquets. Each of these scenes has a meaning beyond the obvious, however. Food is equated with life and excitement, two subjects into which this story pursues. Sex, food and magic are mixed in sparingly in the story, which revolves about Tita, third daughter of Mama Elena.

The time is the early 1900’s and the Mexican Revolution is raging, but in the kitchen of the family ranch, the emphasis is on cooking. The family servant, Nacha, Tita’s surrogate mother, teaches her the secrets and makes her the next in an ancient line of great family chefs. From Nacha and her mother Tita learns the art of cooking. While all the food did not center around Tita, most of it was. Even from the time of birth of Tita she was a part of the cooking, for example when she was born and Nacha scooped up the salt left behind from the broken water of Mama Elena after the birth of Tita.

Nacha used this salt in the foods for months. So it seems Tita was destined from the beginning to learn the traits of cooking since her birth, making her emotional connection to the food she cooked later in her life a new form of realism. By family tradition, Tita, as the youngest daughter, is fated to care for her mother till her mother’s death. She cannot marry, cannot have children. And yet she falls in love with Pedro who, when he is refused Tita’s hand, marries her sister Rosaura instead.

Tita was ordered to prepare her sister’s marriage feast, and is seen as cooks shedding tears into the batter for the wedding cake, which subsequently makes all the guests sick, wretched and nauseated. Later, when Pedro and Rosaura have taken up residence at the ranch, Tita creates a dish with quails and rose petals, and through it conquers Pedro’s heart. The food overtook Pedro with love, lust and desire, ending with sex between him and Tita later that evening.

Everybody in the family gets turned on, especially Tita’s sister Gertrudis, whose body becomes so hot she sets the shower stall on fire, and is subsequently picked up on horseback, naked, by a Mexican revolutionary. She will, as you might expect, live happily ever after. There is seems as though no scene where food is not a part of in some way. From wedding cake to watermelon, food is abundant throughout the story. And through the food different emotions are carried.

The role of food seems to also shadow the roles of the rest of the characters in the story, since without the use of this food to convey an added sense of power over the story, the story itself would not be as interesting for the most part. All depending on where the food originated from (chef) and/or the chef’s emotions during the preparation process. Tita communicates her feeling through the food, and she really seems to transform the food with her own emotions.

Like Water For Chocolate: Book Review

There are all sorts of novels, English, American, Mexican, ect…, but they all have something that distinguish them from the rest. Mexican novelist tend to write about magic and love. In Laura Esquirel novel Like Water For Chocolate magic is in many peoples opinion a big part of the theme. Tita the main character of the novel, and she unknowing uses her cooking as magic, the magic used effects almost everyone who eats Titas food.

Like Water For Chocolate is a novel that uses magic in ways that will effect almost everyone around the wizard that products the magic in a good or bad way. Tita first love was Pedro, they meet at a party thrown by the De la Garza family which Tita was sadly part of. The De la Garza tradition was that the youngest daughter had to stay in the house of her mother and take care of her till the day the mother died, which means that the daughter could not get married.

Unfortunately for Tita she was the youngest and her mother was health as a flying bird. Pedro was madly in love with Tita, and Tita with Pedro, he wanted to take her had in marriage, but in order to do this he has to ask her mother, Mama Elena, since her farther is dead. Going by tradition Mama Elena said no, but she did then ask him if he wants Rousara Tita sister instead. Thinking that by marriage Titas Tita had to be part of the wedding if she liked it or not, according to Mama Elena.

While Tita and Nacha where preparing the batter for the cake Tita told her mother that it would be best if she didnt attend the wedding. Mama Elena then told her that she was and that she could not cry at the wedding. After her mother left Tita began to cry above the batter, and tears fell into the cake batter. It was after the wedding at the basic wedding party, Nacha brought out the cake.

Everyone got a piece, after the first bites looks of sickness were produced on everyones once happy face. They all got sick and ran to the river side and threw up, making Rosauras wedding like deserter island. Although the author doesnt say it was because of Titas tears, but we can say that it was because at that time Tita was angry at Pedro for marry Rosaura, and she was jealous of Rosaura because she was allowed to marry Pedro. So because of the way Tita felt people got Magic is use not only as a way to hurt someone but also to make them feel good.

A few weeks after the wedding Pedro tried to do what ever he could do to make Tita feel his love. One day Pedro had an idea of bring Tita a bouquet of roses, and his excuse was to celebrate her first year as ranch cook. Rosaura pregnant at the time though she should get the rose and angry ran out of the room. Mama Elena with just a look sent Tita to get rid of the roses. Tita thinking they were to beautiful to throw away but then Tita heard Nachas voice, Nacha is dead at this time, telling her a recipe involving rose petals.

After the meal was cooked Gertrudis, Tita, Rosaura, Pedro, and Mama Elena sat down to eat. Pedro was the first to complement Tita for the delicious meal which made him horny for love, then Gertudis became horny. Rosaura on the other hand was feeling sick and getting nauseous, and then asked to be excused. Then Gertudis ran out to the out house and began to get naked, she began to sweat and smell like roses. Gertudis began to run, naked she was, ran out to a man on a horse named Juan who she later married and had children with also.

Even though Rosaura got sick, the whole town smelled like roses from Gertudis sweat, meaning that the magic does not only cause bad things to happen but also good as well. About twenty years have passed after Rosaura death, she had a bad digestive problems, Esperanza her daughter got to marry her true love Alex Brown Dr. John Browns son. At the wedding Tita was preparing Chiles in Walnut Sauce, no one could keep their hand off them. Everyone including the priest were thirsty for love after dancing and eating some Chiles in Walnut Sauce.

Some were smart and got into there cars a made love but others were unlucky and had to make love behind a bush. Tita and Pedro felt like they could finely make love freely, trying to hold there sexual desire only made them more horny, they ran into the dark room. There was Nacha lighting the last of the 250 candles that lit up the dark room. After make sweet love Pedro dead, but Tita still alive wanted to be with her love and began to eat the candles and thinking of the happiest moments in her life and then she also died.

Seeing that the magic made everyone want love it is appropriate to say that at this time magic is a good thing. In conclusion magic can be used in a good and bad way. For example the meal made with the rose pedals made Rosaura sick but it also made the town smell good and helped Gertrudis meet the love of her life. Also that magic effects every one around the wizard or magician or even the cook. We see this with the cake batter, rose pedals, and walnut sauce.

Like Water for Chocolate: Movie Review

Romeo and Juliet and The West Side Story , both romantic sagas that unfold into a struggle between love and family tradition and ways. In the two stories a young girl and a young man from different paths find each other and fall in love, and in both, they are forbidden by either family to be together. In the agony of being forced to live apart the lovers eventually come to a point where they can no longer be without one another. Their love is so strong that regardless if they defy their families wish, they will do anything to be together, even if this includes death. These European and American stories of the tragic effect of a love so strong that it can kill sets the table for the Mexican film Like Water For Chocolate.

This movie tells about desire, love, and rebellion, and is centered around the love of Tita and Pedro, and the struggle of Titas family tradition that does all it can to keep them apart. In this movie we are given an opportunity to see how the attitudes of the characters change over time and how true love, once revealed, can never be held. In the early years of the twentieth century, on a small ranch in Mexico, the story of three sisters and their repressive mother unfolds, and Like Water For Chocolate begins.

Tita is the youngest daughter of Mama Elena, and, as such, because of a family tradition, she is forbidden to marry or have children until after her mother’s death. Tita is agreeable to this situation until she falls in love with the dashing young Pedro. Tita goes to her mother to tell her of Pedros intention to meet with her and ask for her daughters and his loves hand in marriage. Mama Elena is angered by this announcement and upon meeting with Pedro and his father, she informs them that no such union between him and her daughter Tita is possible because of their family tradition.

When Pedro learns that he cannot marry Tita, he agrees to an engagement with her older sister, Rosaura, in the hope that by marrying her, he will have ample opportunities to spend with his real love. Tita cries bitter tears while making their wedding cake, and the wedding guests are overcome with feelings of sadness and memories of lost love when they eat the cake. Pedro and Rosaura live in the same house as Tita and Mama Elena and even though no one speaks a word about it, it is obvious to all that Pedro does not love Rosaura his wife, he only love Tita.

Constantly forbidden and scolded by Mama Elena, Tita is once again forced to supress her feelings for Pedro that are now to Tita, bigger than life. Although now, from the incident with the wedding cake Tita realizes that she is able to send her love and passion to Pedro through the food she cooks. On one occasion, Tita makes a dish using roses Muzquiz gave her, and her dinner guests all become sexually aroused. Her sister Gertrudis becomes so aroused that she catches afire, then runs off with a revolutionary. Caught up in the suspicion of his marriage intentions, Pedro finally after 3 months concemates his marriage between him and Rosaura and in this they have their first child, Nicholas.

Sicken by a harsh labor, Rosaura is unable to tend to her child and Tita is forced to care for the newborn, including breast feeding. Mama Elena is once again agitated by Tita and Pedro love and passion for one another that she suggests that Pedro and Rosaura move to San Antonio where they will be closer to the doctors. Not long after their relocation, word gets back to the family ranch that Nicholas has died due to starvation and illness because he would not eat. Tita is devastated by this and goes into a spell of insaneness and is sent away to a hospital where she meets and romantically connects with the doctor.

Tita returns to the ranch after the tragic death of her mother and just in enough time to deliver Rosaura and Pedros second child, Esperanza. This time Rosauras labor was worse than before and the doctor informs Pedro and Tita that she will not be able to have anymore children and because of this Esperanza is the next to inherit the family tradition. Once again living in the same house Tita and Pedro can not stop their attraction for one another even after Titas acceptance of the doctors wedding proposal. This time they go beyond the food and Tita loses her virginity to Pedro.

Tita, scared by the idea of carrying her sisters husbands child, she confides in Gertrudis that has returned for the first time and is now a general in the revolution and is married to one of her men. Gertrudis convinces Tita to tell Pedro, who is in love with the idea of having a child by Tita. Tita on the other hand was unable to enjoy this happening because of her dead mothers haunting and curse that she placed on Titas unborn child. Feed up with this, Tita finally stands up to her mother and tells her that she hates her and to go away forever.

This declaration by Tita forces her mother away forever but not before she gets Pedro and goes he to catch fire during a drunken celebration. Tita goes about caring for him and during this time, she finds out that she was not pregnant, she was just late, and goes about shutting out Pedro and professing her love for the doctor who she is soon to be married to. Her denial of her love for Pedro, of course does not work and she can not bring herself to marry the doctor. Rosaura eventually dies due to intestinal problems and the family tradition ends with Tita.

Tita and Pedro finally get together after 20 years when Pedros daughter Rosaura marries. Unfortunately, during their love making, Pedro dies and in the spirit of Romeo and Juliet and The West Side Story, Tita kills herself. An admittedly unusual title for a film, Like Water for Chocolate fits the mood — odd, playful, and sweet. It equates the boiling point of water for hot chocolate with the height of passion.

Told by Titas great grandniece this is a story with occasional surrealistic fantasy sequences interspersed between the commonplace goings-on of regular lives, and the film weaves a subtle spell of enchantment until a disappointing conclusion. I believe that this was one of the most beautiful stories of love and its power that has every been told. Even though this is a foreign movie with sub-titles, it is such a strong story that you easily forget that it is in Spanish. This is truly a Romantic.

Like Water for Chocolate and Master Harold: Oppression

In the two novels, Master Harold…and the boys, and Like Water for Chocolate, there are many symbolic similarities. In both books there are acts where individuals strongly oppressed, or discriminated against. Although the individuals are being oppressed for different reasons their emotions are shattered deeply. In Athol Fugard’s book Master Harold and the boys, an older man is discriminated against by a younger child only because the older man is black and the child is white.

In Laura Esquivel’s book Like water for chocolate, a girl by the name of “Tita” is oppressed by her own mother because of the soul reason of being the youngest child, therefore lying in her destiny to serve her mother till death, and being unable to decide her own destiny. However in both cases there are signs of rebellion, and protestation, even though both novels do not end the same end the same, both Sam and Tita get their point across.

Hally is a young white boy living in Africa, it is safe to say that he was raised by a black man by the name of Sam. Now Hally is starting to grow up and he is noticing things which he did not notice when he was younger. He realized that where he lives white people have certain rights over black people. Hally owns a cafe and he has got two black men working for him, one of which is Sam.

Hally walks in one morning and finds Willie and Sam dancing, preparing for a dance contest. “Hally- Think you stand a chance. Act your bloody age! (Hurls the rag at Willie) Cut out the nonsense now and get on with your work. And you too, Sam. Sop fooling around ” (Athol Fugard, Master Harold and the boys 18). Hally criticizes Sam by asking him sarcastically if he really thinks that he is good enough to win a dancing contest. Hally screams at Willie and Sam for making a mistake, this is ironic because Willie and Sam are in their forties while Hally is not even a teenager yet. Hally has power over Sam and Willie because of their difference in skin color.

Tita falls deeply in love with a man by the name of Pedro. Pedro asks Tita to get married, she would love to marry Pedro but she knows that her destiny is to take care of her mother till death. Tita will confront her mother and ask her permission to marry the man he loves. “If he intends to ask for your hand, tell him not to bother. He’ll be wasting his time and mine too. You know perfectly well that being the youngest daughter means you have to take care of me until the day I die” (Laura Esquivel, Like Water for chocolate 10). Tita loves Pedro dearly and would love to marry him, but her mother refuses to grant her permission because she is the youngest daughter and her task in life being to take care of her mother till death.

Sam is like a father figure to Hally but yet he doesn’t respect him, because of the color of his skin. “Hally- Don’t turn your back on me! I haven’t finished talking (He grabs Sam by the arm and tries to make him turn around. Sam reacts with a flash of anger” (54). Hally does not respect Sam, he not only orders him around but becomes violent when Sam does not listen to him. He treats Sam like a dog.

Mama Elena refuses to let her youngest daughter get married, to make the situation worse she Pedro and his dad show up at the ranch to ask permission from mama Elena to get married to Tita. Mama Elena refuses to approve on the marriage of her youngest daughter. “But if you really want Pedro to get married, allow me to suggest my daughter Rosaura, who’s just two years older than Tits. She is one hundred percent available, and ready for marriage” (13). Not only does mama Elena disapprove the marriage of Pedro and Tita but she offers Rosaura, which is an older daughter.

Hally is not grateful for what Sam has done for him in life. He understands that Sam cannot do anything to him, because he is white and Sam is black. Hally therefor Hally takes advantage of this, by degrading Sam whenever he can. “Hally- (quietly) Sam.. (Sam stops and looks expectantly at the boy. Hally spits in his face. A long and heartfelt groan from Willie. For a few seconds Sam doesn’t move)” (56). The worse act of discrimination one person can possibly do to another, is spitting in one’s face. This is extremely degrading.

Mama Elena sets up a marriage between the man that Tita loves and her sister Roraura. Tita is extremely depressed. “I won’t stand for disobedience, Mama Elena told her, nor am I going to allow you to ruin your sister’s wedding, with your acting like a victim. You’re in charge of all the preparations starting now, and don’t ever let me catch you with a single tear or even a long face, do you hear?” (27). Not only does mama Elena approve the marriage between Rosaura and Pedro, but she also holds Tita responsible for the preparations of the marriage of her sister.

Hally- Think you stand a chance” (Athol Fugard, Master Harold and the boys 9). Sam shows sign of rebellion against Hally. He is tired of being picked on and spoken down to just because of the color of his skin. “Hally-(Pause as Hally looks for something to say) To begin with, why don’t you also start calling me Master Harold, like Willie” (54). Sam proves appoint to Hally and Hally does not know how to reply so he relies on the fact that he is on a higher rank and asks Sam to call him Master Harold, instead if Hally.

This proves the power trip which Hally is going through. Sam is an old friend as well as a father figure, and know Sam has got to put the word “Master” in front of his name, to demonstrate to himself, Hally, and everyone else how Hally is at a higher level than Sam. “Sam- (Quietly and very carefully) If you make me say it once, I’ll never call you anything else again”(54). This is the only sign of rebellion that Sam shows. He lets Hally know that he is against it, and threatens to not call him anything else. At this point Sam realizes that Hally has grown up and changed.

Tita rebels against the ghost of mama Elena. The Ghost shows up to tell Tita that what she is doing is wrong. “See what you’ve done now? You and Pedro are Shameless. If you don’t want blood to flow in this house, go where you can’t do any harm to anybody, before it’s too late. The one who should be going is you. I’m tired of your tormenting me. Leave me in peace once and for all. Once and for all, leave me alone; I won’t put up with you! I’ve always hated you! Tita had said the magic words that would make Mama Elena disappear forever”(199). (199). After all this time Tita finally stands up against her mother, and puts her in her place. She chooses to fight back instead of just remaining quiet and obeying her mom’s orders.

Throughout the novels Like Water for Chocolate, and Mater Harold…and the boys, Tita and Sam experience discrimination. The difference between them were that after Sam protested, he was still treated the same, were as when Tita rebelled, she was set free. The ad thing about all this is that, Sam’s example is what happens in the real world. Maybe people can learn from these novels and stop discriminating people because they were born in class were they are expected to do perform only certain roles in society, or obey certain people. Also, if you’ve ever wondered if ovulation cramps are normal, the answer is yes, ovulation cramps are normal , and they usually occur to one in five women. Learn how women’s ovulation works and calculate your most fertile days with this excellent online tool available for free. We hope this tool will be very useful and provide the information that you were looking for.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover: Book Report

Lady Chatterley’s Lover, written by DH. Lawrence was first published in 1928. The novel follows around the protagonist of the story, Lady Constance Chatterley. The story is about how this woman, who is trapped in a loveless and almost sterile marriage, finds emotional and physical love with the games keeper of her husbands estate. As a story about the relationships between men and women, I find this book a very nice read, but with Lawrence also using this novel as a way to show his readers the evils of machines and capitalism, at times I find it lacking.

Lawrence has two main themes in this book; first, the relationship between men, women and how they find love; second, industry vs. nature. Both can be discussed to show how they are used to conveniently establish the relationship theme but not the secondary theme of industry vs. nature.

The main theme in Lady Chatterley’s Lover is that of the relationship between men and women. Lawrence shows the readers how you must have emotional and physical love, together, in order to have complete love. Through the example of Connie and Clifford’s marriage, Lawrence shows the reader that though there is an emotional love between the two, neither is fulfilled. Their relationship can best be summed up by a quote directly from this book, Time went on. Whatever happened, nothing happened. (19) Neither Connie nor Clifford have a great love for the other, they seam to be just friends who live together.

The idea of a strictly physical love is shown briefly through Mellor’s and his marriage to his first wife. Though the two had a stable marriage based on physical love, it eventually deteriorated to the point of them living separately. Bertha rejected Mellor’s when he started to show tenderness towards her. Both examples are used by Lawrence to justify that though some marriages/relationships start out well, without the combined physical and emotional fulfillment of both people there can be no true love between them.

The idea of complete love is shown through Lady Connie and Mellor’s relationship. Lawrence shows through these two how love needs to have emotional and physical aspects to be possible. Writing about their evolving relationship and showing how both aspects are started and evolve, he gives us the idea of what he thinks real love is. Lawrence shows how their true love and eventual marriage escapes class lines and the industrial world the author despises. In one of the more descriptive sex scenes, Lawrence wants to show that two people who are in real love have no shame.

This theme is also used to try and validate Lawrences second theme in the book, industry vs. nature. Lady Chatterley’s marriage with Clifford is based in the industrial setting of Wragby mansion. The marriage between these two characters revolves around this setting and is therefore shown by Lawrence to be a fake marriage since it is not set in a true natural setting. It is based in an industrial society and therefore corrupt. On the other side, Lady Connies relationship with the games keeper, Mellors, is started in the natural setting of the woods surrounding Wragby.

As the story ends there is a hope that these two will be married and it will be a true marriage because it has both the emotional and physical aspects of love and that it was started in the woods, in nature. I understand why Lawrence tried to use the relationships to justify the nature aspect of industry vs. nature, but I do not agree with it. The natural setting that Lady Chatterley and Mellors met is very romantic and ideal, but I think that if they had possibly met somewhere else, perhaps the mining town, their relationship could also have developed to the point that it was at the end of the book.

The second theme in this novel, industry vs. nature is a theme that Lawrence should not have tried to show in this novel. He never gives clear reasons for the industrial aspect to this story. It is all shown in a negative light. From having Clifford being the thoughtless owner of the mines who cares nothing for the workers, to Lawrences own description of the mining town and the workers themselves, he gives a complete negative view of industry as a whole. This does not work for me in this novel because he never tells or shows the whole aspect. By this, I mean he never shows how all view industry. He does not show how the workers themselves feel about how they live.

I believe that he tries to show in this novel how he felt about mining towns and those who work there and expects the reader to also despise industry as a whole. The first theme works in this novel because Lawrence shows very different aspects of what some of the characters feel on relationships. He shows the good and the bad and lets the reader draw the conclusion that Lady Connie and Mellors relationship is a true one. He does not do this for the industry vs. nature theme. He only shows the negative and forces the reader to choose the nature side of the theme.

I agree with the words of Pablo Neruda, who said Lawrences work impressed me because of the poetic quality and certain vital magnetism focused on the hidden relationships between human beings. (93) This novel does give great insight to the working of relationships between men and women. Lawrence does a convincing job of showing the reader what it takes to have fulfillment from a relationship and what a person must sacrifice to obtain it. With this in mind, I find it difficult to see why anyone would want to consider censoring or banning this book.

In 1959, Lady Chatterleys Lover was tried in the United States Federal Courts on the charge that it was obscene and therefore should not be published in the United States. The main points the prosecution used in this trial was that the book was: one too frank with the descriptions of lovemaking; that it celebrated adultery and finally, that obscene words, the prosecution though immoral and because of this should be basis alone to have the book banned. The lawyers also objected to Lady Chatterleys involvement in adultery and also her choice of her last lover, Oliver Mellors. Their main argument was that if people were to read this novel it would lead to their social and moral deterioration. The Judge for the case found the book not obscene enough to ban and allowed the publishers right to distribute the novel in the United States.

I agree with this judgment. After reading this book, I found none of it obscene and did not feel as if I was on the road to moral deterioration after reading it. There are also many critics who feel this way as well. As Anais Nin states in an excerpt D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study, He gives us in Lady Chatterleys Lover an honest picture of all aspects and moods of physical love. But he writes neither scientifically nor for the sake of pornography. (107) She believed that to understand the story and the ideas that Lawrence was writing about the reader could not be afraid of the words that were written or the philosophy that was used.

Katherine Ann Porter wrote in her essay, A Wreath for the Gamekeeper that, I object to his misuse and perversions of obscenity, his wrongheaded denial of its true nature and meaning. (PG) She objects to how Lawrence uses words that many view as obscene. I think that anyone that reads this novel and views it as obscene is not really reading the book. I think any open-minded individual can take how Lawrence uses the language and descriptions and find it justified. Lawrence did not use these words and descriptions as a way to incite lust or lustful thoughts into readers, but as a way to show that love is not shameful. The way he uses his words, whether they be classified as obscene or not, shows that any act or word given in love is not shameful, no matter what their dictionary meaning is.

Adultery was another reason why people tried to have Lady Chatterleys Lover banned. Edith Sitwell wrote in her book, Taken Care of: An Autobiography, Nobody seems to have thrashed Mr. Mellors, the adulterous gamekeeper, which is what he deserved. (109) What I find amusing is that most critics never talk about Lady Constances first lover, Michaelis, and seem to only be fascinated by Mellors. This is most likely due to the fact that not only did Lady Connie and Mellors have an affair; they also were from different social classes. I think that is what got people the most upset. By not writing about Michaelis, critics condone that affair because both were from the same social class.

I find that more obscene than them even having the affair. Preaching that adultery is wrong but then condoning Lady Chatterleys first adulterous affair because they were from the same social class is ludicrous. Instead of harping about why the affairs should not have happened, people that gave poor reviews for the novel should have tried to reason out why the affairs happened. Neither Lady Constance nor Oliver Mellors were in true marriages. So from Lawrences viewpoint, they were not having an adulterous affair. Taken in that context, I see nothing morally degrading about their relationship.

In fact, I see nothing in this book that would give anyone the idea to have it banned. Im sure that if I had read this book in the 1950s, or earlier, I might have been slightly offended. I do hope that I would have had the open-mindedness and intelligence to see past the views of a few people and find out what the book was really about. I see no reason why this book should have any limits placed on it. I think it should be in every public library and school. Many would feel, I think, that this book was really about. I see no reason why this book should have any limits placed on it.

I think it should be in every public library and school. Many would fell, I think, that this book is not intended for children or young adults. I disagree. In todays society, most children already know more about sex and naughty words then what this book writes about. Children will probably not understand the themes involved in this story and they can certainly find more obscene descriptions of love or lovemaking. If they choose to read the book later on in their teen years, this could provide one way to help explain to them the difference between sex and love. Limiting and censoring books in just a way for some to keep others ignorant.

Works Cited

1.Bloom, Harold (Editor), Twentieth-Century British Literature Volume 3. Chelsea House: New York, 1986.
2.Bryfonski, Dedria and Hall, Sharon K. (Editors), Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism Volume 2. Gale Research Company: Michigan, 1979
3.Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterleys Lover. 1928. New York: Grovers Press, 1959.
4.Neruda, Pablo, Luminous Solitude, Memoirs. 1976. Included in Twentieth-Century British Literature, Volume 3.
5.Nin, Anais. Lady Chatterleys Lover D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study. (1932) 1940. Included in Twentieth-Century British Literature, Vol. 3.
6. Porter, Katherine Ann. A Wreath for the Gamekeeper. Encounter. 1960. Included in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 2.
Words

Guilt, Duty, and Unrequited Love: Deconstructing the Love Triangles in James Joyces The Dead and Thomas Hardys Jude the Obscure

Its no problem of mine but its a problem I fight, living a life that I cant leave behind. But there’s no sense in telling me, the wisdom of the cruel words that you speak. But that’s the way that it goes and nobody knows, while everyday my confusion grows.

–New Order, Bizarre Love Triangle, from Substance, 1987

Most people who have watched a soap opera can recognize that the love triangle is a crucial element to the plot. In fact, the original radio broadcasted soap operas seemed to consist almost entirely of love triangles. The love triangle, for plot purposes, seems to be a popular technique employed to change the dynamic, add dimension, and generally spice up an otherwise stagnant monogamous relationship.

It would make for a pretty dull and quite unpopular show if such popular daytime soap characters as Luke and Laura or Bo and Hope had enjoyed a smooth courtship, uncomplicated marriage and then grew old and gray together without a single conflict. The viewers watched them go through many conflicts, some of which involved the classic love triangle.

Such conflicts as the love triangle keep the story moving. Common elements of triangles in todays soaps consist of lust, greed, jealousy, any of which are interchangeable with the conflicts resulting from situations involving lovers coming back from the dead or paternity uncertainties. Yet love triangles, whether in the soap opera or in the novel, are not all uniformly constructed. James Joyce’s The Dead and Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, both modernist novels, each contain love triangles as an integral element of the story.

The key triangles I will focus on are comprised of Michael, Greta and Gabriel, and, Philotson, Sue, and Jude. Although not absolutely identical, deconstruction reveals guilt, duty, and unrequited love as essential components to the construction of both.

Besides the most obvious similarity that both triangles are composed of one woman and two men, guilt also figures prominently. Although the men of the triangles may have their own guilt-related issues, it seems as though it is the guilt felt by the women that presents the most conflict. In The Dead, Greta has to live with the knowledge that it is because of her, although indirectly, that Michael died. It is likely that because of this guilt that she pauses on the staircase to listen to The Lass of Aughrim, a song that, as she tells Gabriel later, reminds her of Michael. At the time, her husband interprets her expression on the staircase as one of grace and mysteryas if she were a symbol of something.(Joyce 2028).

He was correct, except not in the way that he thought. All the way to the hotel, the lingering memory of that sight of her incites his passion. However, he experiences a terrible upset as Greta tells him about the song and what it means to her. This is the critical moment where Michael, or rather his memory, enters and completes the triangle, although he may have been there all along without Gabriels knowledge. To Gabriel, this turn of events casts a different light on his entire marriage to Greta as he thought of how she who lay beside him had locked in her heart for so many years that image of her lovers eyes when he told her that he did not wish to live(Joyce 2035).

He wonders how poor a part he, her husband, had played in her life(Joyce 2035). Although it is a bit peculiar for one of the members of this bizarre love triangle to reside beyond the grave, we see here that Michael plays a significant role, perhaps altering Gabriel and Gretas relationship forever, with Gretas guilt as the instigating factor.

As for Sue, in Jude, her guilt operates on a completely different level, a religious one. Like Greta, Sue also had a sick man die after braving the elements just to see her. Yet, unlike The Dead, this event has no great impact on the love triangle between Jude, Sue and Philotson. This three-cornered romantic disaster, because of Sues return to Philotson, had already reached its climax. If anything, Judes death made Sues promise never to see him again easier. But because Judes death happens at the end of novel, the reader does not find out if this adds to or detracts from her guilt.

All we are told is that she is tired and miserable, years and years older, quite a staid worn woman, and still absolutely repulsed by Philotson (Hardy 431). Sues guilt originates from societal pressures, and then surfaces after the death of the children. She knows that shacking up with Jude after her divorce from Philotson is frowned upon, yet she does not share the same morals and values as the society in which she lived, thus, does not expect any sort of punishment. She takes the horrifying death of her children as a sign of divine admonishment. I see marriage differently now!My babies have been taken from me to show me this!(Hardy 369). Therefore, so that their deaths would not have been in vain, Sue becomes religious and returns to Philotson, adding more complexity to the triangle.

Sues last words to Jude before he dies are: Don’t follow medont look at me. Leave me, for pitys sake!(Hardy 412). This bizarre love triangle may not be broken even after Judes death, for it is he whom she really loves. For Philotson, Sue only feels a sense of duty.
Richard Philotson is not a bad guy, not at all the villain of the story. He is just as much a victim as Sue and Jude. Actually, the role of the villain seems to co-star Sues sense of guilt and the judgmental society that causes her to perform such maddening acts of senseless duty that construct the love triangle between them.

One chief act of duty is when she becomes engaged to Philotson, despite her feelings for Jude. Another major one occurs when she actually marries Philotson, although it is completely against her principles. Philotson, as a mentor, had ingratiated himself to Sue and she had to appease him somehow when the scandalous rumors about her and Jude emerged. Sue writes to Jude about the impending marriage, It is so good of him, because the awkwardness of my situation has really come about my fault in getting expelled(Hardy 176). Yet, Jude fears that the real reason behind her marriage to Philotson stemmed from his confession regarding his marital status. Regardless of the convoluted reasoning, Sue was able to perform the duty of marriage but not the duty of the bedroom.

Philotson finds that she would rather sleep in the closet than with him. As her repulsion grows, so does her longing for Jude and freedom from marital constraint. Poor Philotson, aware of Sues affections for Jude and her aversion to himself, allows her to leave the marriage. So Sue gets her freedom, yet despite her unconventional values, she just can not seem to go long without this sense of duty that overwhelms her. She is torn between her own values and those that society has not only instilled in her, but reminds her of daily. She takes deeply to heart such instances as when she and Jude were not seen fit to complete their job of painting of the Ten Commandments.

I cant bear that they, and everybody, should think people wicked because they may have chosen to live their own way!(Hardy 318). This together with Father Times arrival intensifies her torment over the marriage dilemma. But this is one act of duty that she can never bring herself to perform which makes it much simpler for her, after the death of her children, to return to Philotson whom she dutifully, though illogically, regards as her true husband.

On the other hand, Greta is able to fulfill all of her wifely duties for Gabriel, including bearing his children. He even thinks, until he realizes her attachment to Michael, that she performs these duties blissfully. Greta plays the part of the doting ornament at his aunts party, appearing as though Gabriel were the center of her universe. As they danced Gabriel felt proud and happyproud of her grace and wifely carriage(Joyce 2031). As they are leaving, Greta turned towards them and Gabriel saw that there was color on her cheeks and that her eyes were shining(Joyce 2029).

But it was Michael, not Gabriel, who was the reason for the expression. Despite Gretas anguish over the song and the memory it brought, she was not too distraught to attempt to stroke her husbands ego. She kissed him and said, You are a very generous person, Gabriel(Joyce 2032). But Gabriels joy at this attention is later crushed as it is made apparent to him that all along she had been comparing him in her mind to another (Joyce 2033). Gretas sense of wifely duty toward Gabriel had protected him from this knowledge all the years of their marriage. With the truth out, Gabriel may never return to the comfortable illusion that Greta had allowed him to live him for so long. Michael may now always be a haunting presence in their marriage, and the reader is not told if Greta will favor her sense of duty to her marriage or to his memory.

While Greta sleeps, recovering from the memories brought by The Lass of Aughrim, Gabriel contemplates the relationship between his wife and Michael. He realizes the enormity of Michaels love for Greta as something he had never felt like that himself towards any woman but he knew such feeling must be love (Joyce 2035). This must leave him to wonder whether Greta had felt the same for Michael or whether the love, on that level at least, was unrequited. Greta had answered ambiguously that she had been great with him at that time(Joyce 2034).

Gabriel wonders if she is being completely truthful. He knows that he does not love Greta the way that Michael did, but throughout their marriage he seems to have been under the delusion that her love was greater for him, than his for her. Perhaps, because of Gretas deep attachment to Michael, it was really his love for her that was unrequited. Gabriel seems confident in his role as supreme husband and lover until after Gretas confession when he looks into the mirror and sees a ludicrous figure, acting as a pennyboy for his aunts, a nervous well-meaning sentimentalist, orating to vulgarians and idealizing his own clownish lusts (Joyce 2033-34). The knowledge of Michael and fear of comparison has reduced him to this state of inferiority and self-doubt.

This may be how Philotson felt when he found that his love for Sue was so undeniably unrequited. How damaging it must be for a mans ego to find that his wife would rather brave sleeping in a closet than with him. Philotson wonders wry, What must a womans aversion be when it is stronger than her fear of spiders!(Hardy 232). The poor man had normal expectations for his marriage, only to find that the mere suggestion of intimacy prompted her leap to what could have been her death. He explains to his friend Gillingham, She jumped out the windowso strong was her dread of me!(Hardy 241).

This is the final straw and Philotson grants her a divorce. Yet, he is not the only one to experience unrequited love. Jude does also, but definitely not to such a severe degree. Although, Sue loves Jude, she does not seem to love him enough to stay with him, at least not in the way he loves her. He wants her as a wife and she is content to go back to just friendship. Well be dear friends just the same Jude, wont we?(Hardy 374). She asks him, as if Jude could so easily dissolve his romantic feelings for her. Sues only real true love appear to be her own values and moral urges, which seem to change with the tide throughout the novel.

Love, with its power to create agony or ecstasy, is a dependable source of drama, whether it be for the novel or the soap opera. As we see in Jude the Obscure and The Dead, the tension of the love relationship is increased with the addition of a third party. Jude and Sues relationship may likely have been quite simpler without the presence of Philotson. He would not have been an option for Sues need to rectify the death of the children. In fact, she may have seen marriage to Jude as the right thing to do.

They may have actually gotten married and been very happy. But for some reason, Hardy did not allow this to happen. Instead, he preferred to leave the reader with the dark view of love, where there is not always a happy ending. As for Gabriel and Gretas relationship, if Greta had not told of Michael, Gabriels evening may have ended much differently. He would most likely have satisfied his lust, yet the novel would lack the epiphany Gretas confession causes him to have. The components of guilt, duty, and unrequited love, though not universal traits, do well to maintain the complexity and efficacy of these particular love triangles.

Ibsen’s “Ghosts”

At the time when Ghosts first appeared, it was considered extremely dangerous and indecent. The themes it contains of inherited illness (siphylis, though this is never directly stated) and hypocrisy were unacceptable to the later nineteenth century audience, even to those who considered themselves liberals and had championed Ibsen’s earlier plays.

The story of the play is that of a young man, who returns home from the bohemian life of an artist because he is suffering from a mysterious illness. He has been brought up abroad, and has always believed, as the world in general has believed, that his father was a pillar of the community. He begins to fall in love with his mother’s maid.

His mother is extremely alarmed when she realises what is happening. She is the only one who really knows what her dead husband was like, and she knows that he was in fact the father of the serving girl. There are parallels between her past history and the story of Nora in The Dollshouse; she too tried to leave her husband, though he was far more unpleasant than Nora’s. She, however, was persuaded to return by the local church minister, with whom she had sought refuge. For the sake of her son, she spent the rest of her life covering up the truth about her husband.

The story very powerfully brings out its themes, but is very much less shocking than it seemed over a hundred years ago. It is still a play which makes one think about what you really inherit from your parents, anticipating Philip Larkin’s famous poem by many years.

Ibsen’s Ghosts has been subjected to a succession of interpretations and re-interpretations. Like any great work of art, it has meant widely different things for different generations. It has been seen variously as a social drama of revolt, offering an outspoken challenge to the hypocrisy of late nineteenth-century European society, as a melodramatic pice thse focusing attention on 0svald Alving’s inherited disease and his final lapse into dementia, and, in complete contrast, as a moving tragedy showing the suffering of a mother who finds that the past cannot simply be exorcised.

Over the years critics have differed widely in their estimation of the play’s merit and in their views as to what precisely the play is about. So far, however, there has been a fairly widespread degree of unanimity in critical views as to what the play is not about. Most critics have agreed that Ghosts is not primarily, if at all, a play about interaction.

There is general acceptance of the view that Ghosts, as the title would seem to indicate, is a play about action in the past. The various characters in the play, it is argued, merely react during the course of the play to a series of events and occurrences that are rooted in the past; they do not interact significantly with each other in the present.

Ghosts can also be seen as a play about one single mind defining itself against its surroundings, its own past, concentrating on the quest of a single individual

Theme – the gradual process by which a noble woman, who imagines herself to be enlightened enough to exorcise the ghosts of past actions, comes at length to know the complete irrevocability of deeds done long ago.

Ghosts can also be seen as a play about family conflict, tracing out the interaction of parent and child, rather than a play concerned with physical inheritance: Much that Ibsen wrote about Oswald’s illness reflected the attitudes of physicians of his day. Thus he suggested that its cause lay in the degeneration – or softening – of the brain as a result of the inheritance of disease from a profligate parent, and that its course would inevitably be a progressive decline to idiocy. Yet the essence of the play lies in the dramatic representation of the conflicts in the family triangle formed by Oswald and his mother and father.

During the action of Ghosts a number of decisive events occur, engendering a crisis with a catastrophic issue. Important things are said and done which have far-reaching consequences, but the characters involved are not necessarily aware of what it is they are doing and saying. The play presents a complex tissue of on-going process in which it is difficult and, at times, almost impossible to ascertain who is doing what to whom.

If we look, for instance, at the opening scene in the play between Regine and Engstrand, we find that ostensibly it records Engstrand’s attempt to persuade his daughter Regine to return home with him and leave Mrs. Alving’s service. Engstrand has plans for opening a seamens’ hostel-cum-brothel in town and has calculated that Regine would constitute something of a star attraction in such an establishment. The scene also ostensibly records Regine’s flat refusal even to consider such a project. What is actually going on, however, as these two characters interact is something rather different and rather more complex. In terms of the actual words used, and even more in terms of intonation and gesture, both characters act out a pattern of response derived quite specifically from the family nexus in which they once lived. The scene is shaped in such a way that it revolves around a number of unresolved conflicts from this family nexus, and, as they interact, both characters activate old wounds that have never properly healed.

Decisive experiences such as these defy easy resolution in later life; in Regine’s case, the mere thought of returning home with her father is enough to make her relive, in the most terrifying fashion, some of the more degrading and humiliating scenes she endured as a child. Unable to forget what she once experienced, she can now certainly never forgive Engstrand. All she feels is the desire to wound, for it is only at this level that she can communicate with her father.

Summoning up all her resentment, she insults him under her breath so that he shall not even properly hear what she says; significantly she picks on his club foot, his noisy, grotesque, clumping foot that her mother had so disliked. (In the next act Engstrand himself points to his gammy leg as one of the factors which made Johanne originally turn down his early proposals of marriage.) Even now Regine’s rejection of her father, intended to be doubly insulting through being expressed in French, which Engstrand, as she well knows, is too vulgar and uneducated to understand, is conditioned, not so much by what is said and done in the present, but rather by the memory of what was said and done in Engstrand’s household. Regine is still her mother’s child and responds to Engstrand quite instinctively in the way she learnt at home. Here, as elsewhere in the play, praxis and process are inextricably linked.

Engstrand, for his part, is not unmoved by all this. He too still suffers from the spiritual scars left by his marriage, though he is rather better at coping with such misfortunes than his daughter. He had once been in love with Johanne and had proposed to her even before she went to Rosenvold to work for Captain Alving; but she only had ‘eyes for the good-looking ones’, and she turned him down.

When Johanne returned from Rosenvold, pregnant and in disgrace, Engstrand seized his opportunity, obtaining both her person in marriage and the money she had been given by the Alvings to remain silent. He clearly thought this was a golden opportunity for making the best of a bad situation. However, his marriage proved to be a catastrophe. Johanne was a frigid, nagging wife who was intent on making him feel socially and sexually inferior. In one of his replies to Regine, Engstrand offers a brief glimpse into the kind of humiliation to which he was subjected during his marriage, the kind of humiliation that either breaks a man’s spirit or drives him to drink – in Engstrand’s case perhaps one should say, back to drink. Fortunately Engstrand possessed both a stout liver and considerable resilience. He survived his various drinking bouts and never once cracked during all the years he lived with Johanne. Even now, when Regine imitates the way his wife used to insult him, he still preserves his cool. Engstrand knows how to survive. He is also a man of considerable stubbornness, which in turn provokes and feeds Regine’s resentment. Both of them are locked in a closed circle of misunderstanding.

In more ways than one, Regine is like her mother, and as Engstrand begins to spell out the real nature of the deal he is proposing, his thoughts automatically return to Johanne. This in turn leads him into making what is meant to be a flattering comparison between Regine and her mother, who managed to do quite well for herself, according to the tale she told him, with some rich foreigner or other before Engstrand married her. Now this is a subject that presumably has only been mentioned before during Engstrand’s drunken brawls with his wife and Regine has been taught, because of her partisan alignment with her mother, not to believe a word of it. In Regine’s eyes, therefore, what Engstrand says is an unforgivable insult.

Shocked or at least thrown by Engstrand’s sexual flattery, she tries coping with him by adopting an air of nonchalant superiority – ‘Sailors have no savoir vivre’ – but when he uses her mother as an example to suggest that she become a whore, a common doss-house tart, she is outraged to the depths of her being. As she sees it, Engstrand, in the most grotesque form imaginable, is insulting both her mother’s memory and herself at one and the same time. Any further communication between them is unthinkable, except at the level of physical violence. And it is precisely this that Regine now threatens.

Completely unaware of how the other person thinks and responds, both characters act out a pattern of destructive responses in this scene. Regine, subjected in the past to a process of deliberate mystification by her mother, judges and condemns her father from a position of childhood fantasy. Engstrand, embittered and cynically hard-headed after his long years of suffering with Johanne, is totally incapable of understanding Regine’s emotional sensitivity.

English Literature Coursework Assignment – Far From The Madding Crowd

In the novel Far from the Madding Crowd the main female role, Bathsheba Everdene, is pursued by three suitors, each of whom is very different from the others. These three men are Farmer William Boldwood, owner of the farm adjacent to Bathshebas, Gabriel Oak, bankrupt farmer who becomes Bathshebas shepherd, and later, bailiff, and Sergeant Francis Troy, a soldier whose regiment was close by to Weatherbury.

Each of the three suitors pursues Bathsheba in a very different style, each of which I will look at in this coursework, but, unfortunately for naïve Bathsheba she fails to choose the best for her, Gabriel Oak, when he becomes her first suitor. Only at the end of the novel does she make the obvious and correct choice.

The first character I will look at is Sergeant Francis Troy who came upon Bathsheba one night as she walked along the fir plantation, checking that all was well in the fields and paddocks, although Gabriel Oak had check before her. When Troy had become entangled with her, one of his first questions was Are you a woman?, to which Bathsheba replied, Yes. His immediate reaction was to compliment her by calling her a lady, illustrating his natural tendency to see most young ladies he comes across as merely objects for personal conquest. Flattery is of course his chief weapon in charming and conquering the female heart.

One of the main reasons that Bathsheba fell for him in the first place is her own vulnerability to flattery, as she is such a vain young lady. From this point on, on the occasions that he meets her, he continues to remark on how beautiful see looks, concentrating on praising her appearance. His first attempt at courtship was filled with nothing more than these praises as he quickly wormed his way into Bathshebas heart. His impressive skills at swordmanship astonished Bathsheba, as shown in the hollow among the ferns when she realised how sharp his sword really was as he manoeuvred it around her, and she suddenly found herself falling deeper and deeper in love with him.

There are a number of things which had attracted her to Troy, the most principal being the constant flattery and praise of her beauty. His sword skills in particular excited her and were a wonder, something totally different from the mundane ways of country life which surrounded her at present. His handsome appearance drew her closer and she found herself captivated by him. She was attracted by his superficial glamour especially the fact that he was a dashing Cavalryman, with his red jacket and shiny buttons.

From the start she was deceived by his appearance, knowing this inside herself by never admitting it. She had to ask other people about their relationship, for example Gabriel even though she rejected his advice to reject Troy and marry Boldwood, because she was so doubtful herself as to what was happening. His forwardness also intrigued her, always asking for another chance to meet her and the kiss he gave to her in the hollow in the ferns after demonstrating his swordmanship.

Their secret and hasty marriage shocked many of the townsfolk who had not known such an affair had been occurring and genuinely believed that she should have married Boldwood instead. She dismissed all talk that the marriage was to be doomed, and even stopped Gabriel from uttering a word about it, now I dont wish for a single remark from you upon the subject – indeed, I forbid it, and this shows how she did not wish her happy mood to be ruined.

This also shows her reluctance to face the reality of her situation and her refusal to face the truth that she had made the wrong choice. Even before her marriage, when she had first met Troy, she asked Liddy if she knew him and almost immediately Liddy warned her of him. She said that he was a wild scamp and Bathsheba immediately jumped to his defence, protecting him because she could not see his faults as she was so blinded by her infatuation with him. Liddy pleaded with her to forget about him, saying he was a liar and a cheat but Bathsheba eventually told her, after a lengthy bout of sobbing, that she was to keep her opinions to herself and try to understand what she was feeling.

Troy also had frequent outbursts with Boldwood on the subject of Bathsheba, before and after the marriage, in which we saw his humour in laughing at these country bumpkins of the village, for example Gabriel, Boldwood and the others who frequented the malthouse, who wouldnt know how to win the heart of a woman even if they spent years trying to. In fact, while he was playing around with Bathsheba, even after the marriage, he failed to realise that both Blodwood and Gabriel were deeply serious about Bathsheba and would never treat her the ways in which Troy would never have thought of. This shows Troys over-confidence in how he treats women, thinking that what he does is the best any man can do.

Later in the novel, we find out the real consequences of Troys earlier affair with Fany Robin, an employee of Farmer Boldwood. Troys relationship with her had ended up with he becoming pregnant, and to avoid embarrasment and a possible expulsion from his regiment, he agreed to marry her. He did not, however, do this immediately and atempted to stay away from her for a while, not asking his superiors if it was even possible. When he finally did agree to wed her, he discovered that she had arrived at the wrong church and had turned up too late and could not get married then, to Troys delight.

Fanny even followed him to Casterbridge, where she eventually died at the gates of the workhouse she was struggling to reach. Her body, weak and thin as it was, was taken to Bathshebas house and laid there for the night, child and all. When Bathsheba eventually did discover that Troy had jilted another woman and left her holding a baby and facing a life in the gutter, she was too shocked to do anything and when she finally did talk to him, some truths about him had become apparent. She began to notice, even though she was been told before by her friends, that he had a number of vices, one of which was his gambling, something which she didnt notice until they got married.

He often borrowed money from her to spend at racehorse tracks and almost always lost. Another was his drinking problem, which led to his irresponsibility. On return to the farm as its new owner, he organised a wedding celebration at which he got himself and all the simple rest i.e. the workers drunk. As a result, it was up to Bathsheba and Gabriel to save the ricks from burning while everybody was sleeping. These showed his true nature as an inadequate husband, thinking that he didnt have to bother flirting with Bathsheba anymore now that they were married.

His final vice, and it turned out to be the most important, was his love of women. As Liddy has told Bathsheba, he was a “womaniser” who had “countless women under his thumb” and didnt care a bit about how they felt, as long as he got what he wanted, especially when it came to leaving them. It became apparent later it the novel that his one true love was indeed Fanny Robin, the girl he had left for dead. When he tried to pay back the debt he felt he owed her by buying a gravestone for her, as well as laying flowers by her graveside, the weather destroyed what he had done, leaving him to believe that because of his abandonment of her he had been damned forever, and even worse he now abandoned a second woman, his wife Bathsheba.

When he disappeared after he had been presumed dead, he did not return for at least seven months and this shows his lack of concern for Bathsheba. At one point before this, he had become bored with her, and even said this to her face, “You are nothing to me – nothing,” showing that he was not serious enough about their marriage.

The second character in the novel which I shall look at is Farmer William Boldwood who is a great contrast to Troy, a first he seemed not to care for Bathsheba at all. From the time when Boldwood had ignored her in the market-place, until he sent the Valentine card he had no interest whatsoever in Bathsheba. He was perceived as a cold, distant figure who had become cynical about women. But when the card was sent, he found himself falling wildly, and eventually madly, in love with her. He talked to Bathsheba for long periods at a time, often interrupted by a jealous Gabriel, but he was mistaken in thinking that she really did want to marry him. She discouraged him as gently as possible, her heart swelling with sympathy for the deep-natured man who spoke so simply. Bathshebas simple Valentine card joke had tragically triggered off deep and dangerous passions which neither she nor Boldwood were aware of.

She eventually told him to wait and he would tell him her answer in a month or two and before this time was up, she had come to like him and enjoy his company so much that she might possibly have married him, until Troy arrived. When he heard that this man had taken his Bathsheba away for him, he swelled with anger. He often confronted and challenged Troy, barely able to control his rage. In all he was too serious about his relationship with Bathsheba, believing that she should be his, and paying no attention to her private feelings. He was basically utterly selfish in his love for her. The intensity of his passions for her was very strange and some people feared for his mental health, especially since his grand-father was said to be a bit queer in the head.

When Bathsheba did finally become involved with Troy, Boldwood confronted Bathsheba, pleading with her to reverse her decision not to marry him, but she obstinately refused.

After Troy disappeared, being presumed dead, Boldwood saw this as his big chance to win back Bathsheba, his obsession for her reaching a peak. Up until six months before Christmas Day, he pestered her, urging her to accept that she was a widow and now free to marry him. When she said that she would think about it until the day she agreed to give her decision, he steered well clear of her, feeling that being in the way more could affect the outcome of her decision. Unknown to her, he was making secret wedding plans as if he was certain of what her decision would be, or perhaps his obsession with her would not allow there to be any other answer.

When Troy finally returned that fateful night, Boldwoods desperation for Bathsheba caused him to reach for his shotgun, his mental instability clearly showing itself. After this, Boldwood was promptly arrested, charged with murder and sentenced to death, though this sentence was later quashed on the grounds of insanity. I think that Boldwood would have made a very good husband for Bathsheba if it were not for Troys interfering causing him to feel rejected and finally cause him to lose his sanity completely.

The final suitor, Gabriel Oak, is the first person that we meet in the novel and was the first to attempt to woo Bathsheba. He started the novel as a simple shepherd, and first saw Bathsheba as she was on a wagon laden with items of furniture, and after a few brief meetings (in one of which she had saved him from suffocating in his shepherds hut), he went to her aunts house and asked her aunt if he could marry Bathsheba. Bathsheba, of course, refused as she had only known him a week or two, and this shows Gabriels bluntness and haste in dealing with affairs of the heart. He believed that he could simply ask her and then she would be his, but after his rejection he simply gave up and further public attempts to win her and for most of the rest of the story simply adoring her privately, from a distance. After she had left, an accident occurred which left him with no sheep, all of them forced off a cliff by his dog. In order to pay the money which he owed the man from whom he had purchased the sheep, Gabriel had to sell his land, leaving him with only the clothes he was wearing.

Once he had left his now ruined past, he journeyed to a hiring fair at Casterbridge, where he heard someone mention that Weatherbury, the place Bathsheba had settled, was only five or six miles away. So he left for Weatherbury, and on the way he happened to help stop a fire which was raging through some hayricks and when he asked the woman farmer if she wanted a shepherd, it turned out to be Bathsheba. At this point I think that he decided that maybe his life was reaching a high point, so he asked Bathsheba if she needed a shepherd to which she accepted. I think that he felt since he would now become more involved with Bathsheba, he may have another chance to prove to her how good her would be for her.

Careful not to put himself in a position where he could miss a job opportunity, he decided to show no romantic or emotional interest in Bathsheba for the moment, and from this point onward. Gabriel is regarded by Bathsheba as her confidant, whom she asks advice for whenever she needs it, especially about Boldwood and Troy. At several places in the novel, Gabriel does indeed become very close to Bathsheba, for example the sheep-shearing where they both worked in silence beside each other but these seem to be always interrupted in some way, mostly by Boldwood, anxious to see Bathsheba again, much to his disapproval. Though he tries to hide it and cope with it much more calmly, Gabriel is just as infatuated with Bathsheba much more so than Boldwood, the difference being that Boldwood is very persistent and demanding, Gabriel simply accepts defeat and appears to give up, though still holds a flicker of hope in his heart. He patiently waits until the time is right and until Bathsheba is ready to accept him as the husband she needs.

It is easy to see why Bathsheba rejected him when he asked to marry her, the main reason being that, in her youthful naïveté and romantic fantasies, she did not want to be tied either to him or the mundane duties of a housewife. The glamour of a wedding appeals to her, but not the life of dull domesticity which follows. A simple shepherd was not her ideal husband and she obviously wanted someone better than that. He was also very unspectacular, a simple man with simple ways who shows very little flair in the things that he does. He is also foolishly and naively presumptuous, expecting Bathsheba to say yes the instant he asks her to marry him. He thinks that the pursuit of love is a simple and straightforward affair; but in this novel he discovers the opposite is true.

At different parts in the book, Gabriel does rise out of the shadows by helping Bathsheba when no-one else will or is capable of helping. For example, the blasted sheep incident which gets him his job back and the burning ricks he and Bathsheba put out when Troy got everyone else drunk.

In conclusion, it is obvious which one of these three male suitors was right for Bathsheba and that man is Gabriel Oak, who loved her genuinely, tenderly and patiently from the moment he first saw her to the very last line of the book. He had never given up on her, had never let her be harmed in anyway and always gave her advice which was sound and right, even if she refused to accept it. In the end, Bathsheba admitted to him that if he had only been more forward then he would have been he first choice if it had even come to that.

Troy was obviously the worst possible husband for her because of his gambling, drinking and womanising vices, but mainly because he still loved Fanny Robin. Bathsheba had just been a passing fancy whom he quickly tired of. Boldwoods relationship with Bathsheba was much more genuine and acceptable at the start but tragically it became a fatal obsession for poor desperate Boldwood. Gabriels relationship with her was a lengthy one, tried and tested, totally unselfish. Bathsheba was indeed very fortunate that Gabriel was patient enough to wait until she matured enough to recognise his good qualities. As in most good stories, the best man wins in the end.

David Copperfield: Short Review

Truthfully, my reasons for choosing to read this particular book were somewhat unexpected- going into the library and seeing so many books, I didn’t know what to choose; so I went to the CM cart in the front, and chose a book from there. Hearing many things of both Dickens and Copperfield, I felt there was no harm in reading this novel. This book proved to be a perfect method for Dickens to fictionalize the background of his early life. David Copperfield became the “favorite child” of its author and in it Dickens transcribed his own experiences, producing not only a fine novel, but a distinguished autobiography as well.

Due to the fact that David Copperfield a type of “unofficial autobiography”- the characters were in fact well drawn, and were truly represented in a way in which you felt you could relate to them and understand what they were feeling. Whereas, they were real- but told in a fictional manner. Again, because of this portrayal of his life, the characters were most definitely told in order of the plot, they were presented to us as if we were meeting them for the first time along with him.

The novel is not pure biography; rather it is Dickens’ experiences made into fiction. In the novel, David escapes from the warehouse to a sympathetic aunt, and he marries Dora after the “timely” death of her father. This did not happen in real life though as I found out from reading the “Life of the Author” excerpt, and it is almost as though Dickens were reconstructing parts of his childhood the way he wished it had been. In the novel, too, Dickens shows his contempt for his parents (in the guise of the Murdstones) for sending him to the blacking factory, and, at the same time, his devotion to the (the Micawber family) as lovable eccentrics. Dora Spenlow becomes both Maria Beadnell and, later, the simple-minded Catherine Hograth, his real wife. The novel, thus, is both fantasy and fact. Any “autobiography” that is written is relayed to the reader in depth for the desire of expressing their life in full. For example- Dickens marries Dora Spenlow, and has a life and family with her, but sadly when she dies he goes abroad for three years and upon his return he realizes that Agnes Wickfield has been his true love all along, and their happy marriage takes place at last. Dickens could have left some of his previous events out and focused upon his current life, but he doesn’t for the sake of expressing all of his anguish that he really lived to us- the readers.

In 1849, David Copperfield, one of Dickens’ most important novels was begun- because of this time period and the fact that he was English, the understanding of the words did become harder than some books. There were many characters, because he was telling his life story, so keeping them straight did a maybe one or two times become difficult, but the detail he gave helped. I would suggest that no one under the ninth grade read this book just because, I don’t think they’d appreciate the style and be able to grasp the feelings he was relaying to you through out the book.

Two important themes of Dickens are highlighted in Chapter 47; these are the disciplined heart and wise prudence. These two themes are used through out the book, your heart never lies and that is something Copperfield comes to realize as the book reaches a conclusion. As a reader you could predict that David would eventually marry Agnes, it was just a matter of when. By reading between the lines you could see and understand what “concepts” or “themes” Dickens wanted you to follow in your own life.

On a scale of one to ten I would give this book a ten. It was a fine novel and superbly written, in both fantasy and auto- biography form. You could see where Dickens’ wished something would have gone that particular way in his own life just by reading the unsaid emotions that were plainly written. There really isn’t anyone whom I wouldn’t recommend this book to- I chose it upon chance and enjoyed it verily- so if someone desired to read it I would give it nothing but praise.

David Copperfield: Book Review

The novel David Copperfield, written by Charles Dickens, deals with the life and times of David Copperfield. About a century ago in a small town in England, David was born on a Friday at the stroke of midnight, which is considered a sign of bad luck. David’s father has already died and his aunt comes to stay with him and his mother as this novel gets off to a very slow start. Soon David becomes aware that his mother has relations with another man and asks one of his servants, “if you marry a person, and the person dies, why then you may marry another person, mayn’t you?” David is immediately angered that his mother has betrayed his father and goes off to live with his aunt.

A while later, David goes back home but quickly gets into trouble and is sent off to school. Dickens uses excellent description in his telling of this story and the reader can easily relate to the characters. The setting of a small town in England is standard in all of his novels, including Great Expectations. The reason for this Dickens’ setting is because he was born in the town of Portsmouth, England in 1812. Although as a young child he moved to Chatham where he experienced a pleasant childhood in which many scenes from his childhood are intertwined throughout his novels.

Dickens father was constantly in debt and was eventually sent to jail. This memory was agonizing for young Charles as years later he wrote: “No words can express the secret agony of my soul. I felt my early hopes of growing up to be a learned and distinguished man, crushed in my breast.” This directly relates to Dickens discussion of David in a wine house later in the novel. A couple of years later, Dickens attends school at the Wellington House Academy where he fell in love with Maria Beadnell but her father opposed the marriage and nothing became of it. David Copperfield is more of a biography of Dickens life made into fiction than of just a regular story about a boy.

Dickens writing skills are apparent as he ties chapters together in an easy to understand novel where the writing seems to move along swiftly. Dickens work is rich with metaphors and enjoyable to analyze as in statements such as, “he eats at one gulp exactly like an elephant.” This book is a classic and may be considered his best work. There are times when the novel moves slowly, but the positives outweigh the negatives and David Copperfield is a book for everyone. That summer after returning from school he finds his new baby brother, and doesn’t exactly know what to think of the situation. He soon must leave again for school but is actually happy for his mother. He and his mother did not get along, and David knew that he would never see her again.

She dies soon afterward, and although they did not get along, David takes her death with much grief and sadness. Soon David sets off to Miss Betsey’s house, an old friend, and again Dickens’ description is brought out as David is described as being, “a dusty, sunburnt, half-clothed figure.” The novel is gradually picks up flavor and humor as David’s aunt, Miss Trotwood, is described. A parallel to his life is drawn here when he finds out that his previous guardian was put in jail because of unpaid debts. After not being able to find his aunt he stays with a doctor and becomes fond of the daughter Agnes. As David is introduced to his teacher, the plot starts to take a light-hearted, humorous twist. Thus the boring introduction is forgotten and Dickens graceful style is brought out.

David eventually meets a young girl named Dora and marries her at the age of twenty one in which time he becomes a successful writer. About a year passes and he starts to have troubles with his marriage, but his writing becomes more successful every day. David is soon expecting a baby and he hopes that it will “make more of a woman” out of Dora, for she is a poor wife. Sadly though, the baby dies soon after it is delivered. Soon after, David gets a letter which says it is urgent to meet at his aunt’s house. The letter worries him because he thinks Emily, his childhood love, is dead. But when he goes, he soon realizes that Emily is alive and overhears a conversation she is having with a lady.

David then hears the tale of how Emily disappeared. Soon after, his wife dies as does Emily’s husband. But David is too distraught to take action and leaves the country for three years, during which time his books gain much popularity. When he returns the exciting climax of the novel is brought out through Dickens classic style. Throughout the novel, there is no set antagonist that Dickens uses. Mr. Murdstone, the man that David’s mother marries could be classified as the antagonist because he often beats David and drives David’s mother to an early death. Because this novel is more of a biography of Dickens life it is hard to find a certain person that goes against David, however, the man that marries his childhood love could also be classified as the antagonist.

Again there is no set theme to the novel because of its biography form. Although a theme throughout David’s life could be to take advantage of the situation and if you see something you want, grab it, do not hold back and your life will prosper because of it. As the book ends, Dickens wraps up the novel disposing of all of the characters in the book. This is basically Dickens “anti-climatic wrapping up” portion of the novel in which he does at the end of all his books. Overall, this book displayed humor at times and sorrow at times but was fluent in style and a fun book to read.

Comedy of Errors: Shakespeare Play Research Paper

Biography of Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, English playwright and poet recognized in much of the world as the greatest of all dramatists. Shakespeares plays communicate a profound knowledge of human behavior, revealed through portrayals of a wide variety of characters. His use of poetic and dramatic means to create a unified artistic effect out of several vocal expressions and actions is recognized as a singular achievement, and his use of poetry within his plays to express the deepest levels of human motivation in individual, social, and universal situations is considered one of the greatest accomplishments in literary history.
William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-on-Avon. No knows the exact date of Williams birth, although we do know that he was baptized on Wednesday, April 26, 1564. His father was John Shakespeare, tanner, glover, dealer in grain, and town official of Stratford. Williams mother, Mary, was the daughter of Robert Arden, a prosperous gentleman.

On November 28, 1582, William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway entered into a marriage contract. The baptism of their eldest child, Susanna, took place in Stratford in May 1583. One year and nine months later their twins, Hamnet and Judith, were christened in the same church.

In 1593, William found a patron, Henry Wriothgley, to sponsor him. During this time, he wrote two long poems. His first long poem, Venus and Adonius, was written in 1593. In 1594 he wrote his second long poem, Rape of Lucrece. In London, Shakespeare established himself as an actor who began to write many plays.

Shakespeare worked Lords Chamberlains Men company which later became The Kings Men in 1603 after King James I took over. This company became the largest and most famous acting company, only because Shakespeare worked for them, writing all the plays they performed. They performed these plays by Shakespeare in a well known theater which was called The Globe because of it s circular shape.

Shakespeare left London in 1611 and retired. On March 25, 1616, Shakespeare made a will and, shortly after he died on April 23, 1616 at the age of 52. Many people believed that Shakespeare knew he was dying; however he didnt want anyone to know that he was.
Certainly there are many things about Shakespeares genius and career which the most diligent scholars do not know and can not explain, but the facts which do exist are sufficient to establish Shakespeares identity as a man and his authorship of the thirty-seven plays which reputable critics acknowledge to be his. Since the 19th century, Shakespeares achievements have been more consistently recognized, and throughout the Western world he has come to be regarded as the greatest dramatist ever.

ACT I

The plays opening lines signal a mood of tension, and they portend disaster for Egeon, a middle-aged merchant from the ancient city of Syracuse on the island of Sicily. The cities of Syracuse and Ephesus are openly hostile toward one another. Captured in Ephesus, Egeon has been condemned to death by the Duke, who urges him to tell the sad story of how he has come to this state.

Along with his wife Emilia, identical twin sons both named Antipholus, and identical twin slaves both named Dromio, Egeon some years ago suffered a shipwreck. One son and slave survived with the father; the others, he hoped, survived with the mother. Neither group knew of the others survival, however, nor of each others whereabouts, but when Antipholus of Syracuse turned eighteen, his father gave him permission to search for his brother. The worried Egeon then set out after his second son, and after five years of fruitless wandering, he came to Ephesus. Moved by this tale of sadness, the Duke of Ephesus gave Egeon a day, within which time Egeon must raise a thousand marks ransom money.

Antipholus of Syracuse takes his leave of a friendly merchant and tells his servant Dromio of Syracuse to take the 1,000 marks he has with him to their lodging for safekeeping.

Meanwhile, he tells Dromio hes going to look around the town. Soon Dromio of Ephesus, an exact look-alike of the other Dromio, enters and tells Antipholus of Syracuse, thinking he is Antipholus of Ephesus, to come home for dinner that his wife has been waiting. In no mood for joking around with the servant, Antipholus hits the uncomprehending Dromio on the head, as he walks off. Antipholus then groans with the thought that a bondsman has just cheated him out of 1,000 marks.

ACT II

Antipholus of Ephesus wife, Adriana, debates with her sister Luciana on the proper conduct of authority in marriage. Lucianas conventional wisdom that men are masters to their females and their lords. Dromio breaks up the conversation with the complaint that his master has just hit him and demanded the return of a nonexistent thousand marks. The servants report of his masters words I know no house, no wife, no mistress, send Adriana into a fit of anger.

Antipholus of Syracuse beats Dromio of Syracuse, this time, for his former ignorance, and warning him in the future to be sure precisely when the time is right for joking around. Dromio takes the beating completely dumbfounded about the reason for it. Then shortly after Adriana and Luciana see Antipholus of Syracuse and take him for Antipholus of Ephesus. The Syracusian Antipholus and Syracusian Dromio begin to doubt their senses. Their bewilderment follows quickly upon Adrianas long forgiving speech to her husband.

Antipholus of Syracuse correctly explains that he has only been in Ephesus for two hours, and therefore he does not know who Adriana is. When Luciana recounts having sent Dromio to fetch him to dinner. Antipholus of Syracuse becomes further confused, suspecting that his servant is in on a practical joke. By the end of the scene, however, both master and servant simply agree to play along with the rather pleasant madness of going to dinner with a beautiful women who thinks she is wife and mistress to them.

ACT III

Antipholus of Ephesus, together with his servant, a goldsmith, and the merchant Balthazar, try to gain entrance to his home but refused entry by Dromio of Syracuse. At balthazars warning that too much yelling outside his home may endanger his wifes honor into question. Antipholus is determined to get even with his wife so he walks over to the Inn where he knows of a lady of excellent discourse.

Later in the house, Luciana entreats Antipholus of Syracuse to be kind to his wife even if he must be a hypocrite in the process. He shocks Luciana by his response, that he likes Adriana but, is deeply in love with her. When Luciana runs off, Dromio of Syracuse enters to explain that he too is having problems with a member of the opposite sex. Master and servant, truly worried that witchcraft is involved, determine to set forth on the first available ship.

Compounding matters at the end of the scene is Angelo the goldsmith, who delivers a gold chain to Antipholus of Syracuse, which he ordered for his wife. Antipholus of Syracuse refuses payment saying that he could settle it later.

Act IV

A merchant anxious to go on a business voyage entreats Angelo to pay a debt he owes, but Agelo cannot pay until five Oclock when Antipholus is to give him the money for his gold chain. At that moment Antipholus of Ephesus enters with his servant, Dromio, whom he discharges to go buy a whip with which he plans to beat his wife with. Antipholus of Ephesus had ordered the gold chain, but as we saw in the previous scene it was Antipholus of Syracuse who received it.

With the merchant anxious to depart tempers rise at the confusion. The upshot is two arrests: Angelo for non-payment of debt, and Antipholus for refusal to pay for his gold chain. Adding further to the lunacy is Dromio of Syracuse, who arrives to tell Antipholus of Ephesus that he has booked passage for himself and his master on a ship scheduled to leave shortly. This naturally costs further suspicion onto Antipholus of Ephesus. Dromio of Syracuse then thinks his master is mad at him when he is told to retutrn home and fetch bail money.

Luciana tells Adriana of Antipholuss strange behavior toward her; which set off another jealous tirade. Her attitude soon changes though, revealing her true feelings. When Dromio of Syracuse arrives to beg bail money for his master, Adriana complies.

Antipholus of Syracuse alone, recounts each strange occurrence of the day, concluding that a Lapland sorcerer must inhabit the place. Just as he lists the last bit madness, in comes Dromio of Syracuse with the gold for bail money, which his master had demanded that he fetch. Antiphoulus of Syracuse, knowing nothing of his own arrest grows acutely bewildered, when a courtesan arrives requesting a gold chain for a ring which she claims to have given Antipholus, he takes her to be the devil incarnate, and he exists post-haste. The courtesan concludes that he must be mad and decides to tell his wife that he had stolen her ring by force.

Antipholus of Ephesus is at the center of this scene. First he is told by Dromio of Ephesus that he has fetched flagging rope, but has no memory of being asked to collect five hundred ducats bail money. Antipholus uses the whip on Dromio who groans in response. Adriana enters with schoolmaster, Dr. Pinch, who is to treat her husband for demonic possession. When Dromio of Ephesus corroborates Antipholus of Ephesus story that Adriana had locked them out earlier. Dromio of Ephesus probably thinks she is crazy because she doesnt have a clue to what they are talking about.

Meanwhile the doctor orders the two of them to be treated in the accepted Elizabethan manner for dealing with the insane. That they must be tied together and put in a dark room. Finally Adriana promises to make good for the outstanding debt, and Antipholus of Ephesus, together with his Dromio are led off by the doctors and others. Before Adriana has had time to catch her breath her husband and servant return. It is Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse. Adrian goes crazy again and says that they have to be bound together again. Though Dromio of Syracuse feels that nothing will happen Antipholus is determined to leave the city at once.

ACT V

While Angelo the goldsmith explains his predicament to another merchant and explains that Antipholus has the gold chain. At that moment Antipholus of Syracuse and his Dromio enter. Antipholus wears the chain, feels that he has been named a villain by the merchant and Angelo, who accuses him of non-payment, and prepares to have a sword fight with Angelo. Adriana then enters and stops the fight letting Anttipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse to hide in a priory.

The abbess of the priory claims Adriana, who wants to recapture her insane husband and blind him for his own good. In contrast to Dr. Pinch in the previous scene, the Abbess is a sensitive person with the interest of the man seeking sanctuary at heart. The Abbess takes it as a charitable duty of her order to try to heal Antipholus. Just then the Duke enters on his way with Egeon to the place of death and sorry execution where he is to be beheaded publicly. Adriana goes to the Duke and pleads with him to force the Abbess to heal her mad husband.

Then a messenger arrives to announce Antipholus has escaped in another part of town where they beat all the maids and tied up the doctor and burned him to death. Adriana is near hysteria as she hears her husbands cry at this very moment within the Abbey. She thinks she might be possessed as Antipholus of Ephesus and his Dromio go to the Duke in front of her. When she has just left her husband in the Abbey with the Abbess. Antipholus of Ephesus begs for help from the Duke. He then explains what has happened and has not, happened; though others think it has, to him this day. Then the Duke is starting to understand whats going on and call for the Abbess.

Egeon then believes that his son is standing right front of him, who really is, but Antipholus of Ephesus denies ever seeing the man. The Duke takes Egeon as a senile and crazed old man, so he calls for the Abbess. Then the Lady Abbess and Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse come in front of the Duke. When the duke saw the two Antipholuses and the two Dromios, both so exactly alike, he at once remembered the story Egeon had told him in the morning. Then the Lady Abbess made herself known to be the fond mother of the two Antipholus. When the fisherman took the eldest Antipholus and Dromio away from her, she entered a nunnery and soon became the Lady Abbess.

Then Antipholus of Ephesus offered the Duke the ransom money for his fathers life; but the Duke freely pardoned Egeon, and would not take the money. After a while Antioholus of Syracuse married the fair Luciana, the sister of his brothers wife; and Egeon with his wife and sons, lived at Ephesus for many years.

Critical Commentary

The plot for the Comedy of Errors was not original. Shakespeare, like most other playwrights and authors of that time, based his work on another, earlier work. In Shakespeares case he chose one of Plautuss most highly respected comedies, the Menaechmi. Significantly, he did not rely exclusively on rhymed couplets for his comedy. In fact half the play is in black verse, and exceptional accomplishment for a beginning playwright. (Kemp,3)

The plot was well known to the public of the time. The use of mistaken identities, as well as the confusion of twins, had long been popular in the Western Theater tradition. While Plautus had only one set of twins, Shakespeare has two, which makes this comedy increased to a great extent the possibility of confusion. He combines adventure, the comedy of human folly, romance, and suspense in a play that while not one of his masterpieces can be said to be both clever and original and still popular today. (OBrian, 3)
As the plot gets underway even the secondary characters are unhappy.

A constant theme in his first play. The idea of mastery and liberty in the Comedy of Errors, whether it be husband and wife or master and servant is not so important in itself as it is as part of a general context of mans mastery over his or her own fate. Beginning with natures surrealist joke, Comedy of Errors for the most part light heatedly explores ways in which people are caught upon webs spun according to the laws of chance. This, of course, is one primal appeal of farce: natural repetition and duplication- when compounded to include individual themselves- threatening even their senses of identity can be frightening. (Gibbons, 7)

In the Comedy of Errors, the changes Shakespeare makes to his main source* Plautus, emphasizes the pathos of human capacity for error and mans subjection to the power of fortune. The doubling the masters and servants results in situation identical twins puts in question the very idea of nature, as well as the human quest for self-knowledge.

Shakespeare ensures that the audience knows more of the situation that the characters do, which increases the impression that the characters are victims, causing effects both ridiculous and pathetic. The wife Adriana declares her belief in the sanctity of marriage as a spiritual union, she and her husband has an identical twin, and that it is to this man a complete stranger, that she is declaring herself in dissoluble knit. The Meta physical paradox that man and wife are not one flesh is confronted by the physical paradox that man and brother are identically the same. The longing for the reunion that one twin feels for the other is contested with the frustration both husband and wife feel within the bonds of marriage. (Gibbons, 2)

Works Cited

Kemp, Darnell. William Shakespeare. Internet,
http://www.angelfire.com/mn/Bimmassaari/shakebio.html, 2 Feb. 1999.

Gibbons, Brian. Doubles and Likenesses-with-difference. Internet,http://anglisti.uni-muenster.de/conn/gibbon61.htm, 2 Feb. 1999.

OBrian, John. The Madness of Syracusan Antipholus. Internet, http://unixg.uba.ca:7001/0/e-sources/emls/02-1/obrishak.html, 2 Feb. 1999.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold: Short Summary

In the novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold by, Gabriel Marguez, the characters lack individualization and the communal values determine the events of the town. The characters in this novel only watch what happens but never try to stop it. The character’s thought that nothing evil could happen when the bishop was coming to their town. Therefore they never believed all the threats that were made toward the main character, Nasr Santiago. The communal values evolve around religious events, having family honor and virginity.

“Although the Church’s betrayal is many-sided, the bishop’s arrival symbolizes its failure most clearly.” (pg 195, Arnold Penuel). Everyone was concerned with his/her own forgiveness and being blessed by the bishop. Even the priest did not prevent the murder because of the distractions from the bishop. It seems that they did a lot of preparations, trying to please the bishop, to free themselves from the sin that was about to happen later that day.

The perfunctoriness of the people’s faith matches that of the bishop’s blessing as he passes by without stopping: ” It was a fleeting illusion: the bishop began to make the sign of the cross in the air opposite the crowd on the pier, and he kept doing it mechanically, without malice or inspiration, until the boat was out of sight” There is no explanation of why the bishop hates the town, but if he does- and passing by reveals at least indifference-such an attitude is at odds with the Christian doctrine of love and forgiveness. (pg 27, Gabriel Marquez;pg 195, Arnold Penuel)

Religion is suppose to be a positive center, but instead is something they are hypocritical about. The bishop destroys all their hope of happiness. The bishop does not follow his religion, which requires to love and forgive, instead he shows that he hates the town. Therefore by fate the town becomes evil with one murder.

Santiago’s murder resembles the crucifixion of Christ.”It looks like a stigma of the crucified Christ.” This detail fits with the impression the thers create momentarily during their attack that they are nailing Santiago to the wooden door. (pg 99, Gabreil Marguez; pg. 197, Arnold Penuel).

The circumstances that Santiago was murdered relate closely to Christ’s story. Santiago was murdered for someone else’s evil act, in other words, he was a sacrifice for the town’s sins.Despite the widespread knowledge of their intention, for a variety of reasons, not only does no one prevent the murder but virtually the whole town witnesses the gory, hair-raisingevent in the town square. (pg 189, Arnold Penuel).Both murders were thought to be just at that time, but later on some of the truth came out about whether they actually committed any crimes. Also the way Santiago was stabbed seven times shows the hostility of the body and his life.

For the autopsy, they didn’t even have a doctor look at the body but instead had Father Carmen, who did not know anything about what to do. Father Carmen had mutilated the body even more than before and after he was done, they couldn’t even tell that it was Santiago. This shows the amount of respect the Church has upon a body and its soul. As weak as their traditional values are they do provide standards to live by, but forces for change and renewal are even weaker. Their conduct revolves around negative axes; it is based on taboo morality. They have no positive center; nor is there positive leadership in the town. Unable to act, they can only react to events.(David Riesman:Arnold Penuel).

The town follows it’s old values set by the past and a hypocritical Church. They don’t know how to change nor do they want to. They have no true leader to guide them in a positive direction. This town does not prevent evil, but rather waits for evil to occur and only reacts to it. They also do not learn from their mistakes from the past.

“Showing no remorse or repentance, the twins tell Father Amador that they killed Santiago deliberately, but claim innocence because it was a matter of honor. ” (pg. 199, Gabreil Marguez). The code of honor is a very important principal that the town lives by. This code of honor is the basis of this murder. The twins only committed a crime to restore their family honor. They felt that they had not done anything wrong because they were just trying to keep their family honor.

Bayordo’s code of honor was very strict. He had made sure that he would be respected in the town, therefore he bought a big house and had a spectacular wedding. On his wedding night, when he discovered that his wife had betrayed and had lost her virginity before marriage, he took her home that very night. It was a disgrace for him to have a wife like that and also a dishonor to his family. The town believed that if you violated the code of honor than you must be punished, no matter whom you are. Santiago had to die, Angela had to suffer with her mother and without the one husband she could get, for all this dishonor. The family did not know how to deal with such a problem, so they did whatever they thought was right. ” The decline of the Church’s hold on the townspeople’s imagination underlies their ambivalence, with regard to the cult of virginity and the code of honor.”(pg. 195, Arnold Penuel)

“The juxtaposition of a marriage without love and the love of virginity reveals yet another facet of the decadence of the ideal of virginity.”(pg 191, Arnold Penuel). Bayardo was looking for a wife that he thought would be pure, that is the only reason why he wanted to marry Angela. There was never any love between them and it was easily seen. They had never spoken to each other about any of their interests, they just got married upon a attraction. He tried to substitute the love by his wealth; he bought the biggest home in town and he had the biggest wedding. That was the tragedy for Bayardo, because he was going to each town to find a pure wife and when he finally finds one, she is not pure at all.

After this mistake of judging women to be pure, he never marries again, afraid that his wife will not be pure. Later on Angela becomes a virgin all over again, she begins to deeply love Bayardo, and only lives for him to return to her. Virginity is a big cult in the code of honor and whomever that goes against this cult must suffer, unfortunately the sinner was not Santiago but was Angela. In a way Angela also died, but was reborn later on for the love of Bayardo.

This novel shows the lack of Church and love can destroy a town, and someone has to die for it. One character gives that love and nourishment that was needed, Maria Cervantes, she comforted the town, not just sexually but as a mother. She made sure everyone was okay and listened to their problems and gave them advice. This town can never grow into something positive because they need a strong Church and one that is not hypocritical. The people need to change their old stubborn ways and survive. This town only lives by two main things, Code of honor and Virginity. This town will never survive. They lack the strength to make their own minds and they will suffer from the communal values set hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

Anna Karenina – Part 2 Chapter 3

In part two chapter three, Kittys broken heart causes her health to decline. There is a moment in this part of the story that Tolstoy adds to show that money and social status should not be the reasons for marriage. Kitty realizes this when she finds out about Anna and Vronsky. Kitty has something that sets her apart from the other women in her family, pride. Her pride makes her different from her sisters and her mother in that she does not want to marry someone that she does not love and vice versa. What she says tells the reader that she will not put up with adultery. This particular moment occurs between Kitty and her sister Dolly while they are having a conversation about what is making her ill and how she should be cured. The moment begins when Darya Alexandrovna brings up Levins name,

The mention of Levins name seemed to deprive Kitty of the last vestige
of self-control. She leaped up from her chair, and flinging her clasp
on the ground, she gesticulated rapidly with her hands and said: why
bring Levin in too? I cant understand what you want to torment me for.
Ive told you, and I say it again, that I have some pride, and never, NEVER
would I do as youre doing – go back to a man whos deceived you, who
has cared for another woman. I cant understand it! You may, but I cant!
When Kitty says this she hurts her sister, but Dolly probably understands and agrees with what her sister is saying.

In this scene she speaks of having pride and says that she could never go back to someone who has betrayed her. This shows that she is destined to be different than the rest of the women in her family and society also. She sees what her sister is going through with her cheating husband and the humiliation that she must suffer because of him. When she says I have some pride, she is telling her sister that she will not put herself in the position to have to endure the humiliation that she has. This makes Kitty a stronger person than most characters in the book. She knows whom she should marry according to society and her mother, but she will not go through with it if it means living like Dolly.

This is also the moment at which she realizes that she has made a colossal mistake in turning down Levins marriage proposal. The last thing she needed to be reminded of in this instant was that she has turned away from someone who loves her beyond words and who is also someone that she cared deeply about. We know she cannot bear the thought of this when Tolstoy says, The mention of Levins name seemed to deprive Kitty of the last vestige of self-control. She probably feels that Levin may not want her anymore and that her chance of happiness has been lost because of her misjudgment of Vronskys character. Little does she know that because of her pride she will have a happy, adultery-free marriage in the end.

One may see this minor moment as merely a poor young girl trying to overcome a broken heart, but it has much more meaning than that. This is a moment in which the youngest of three sisters refuses to lead her life as the women of her family in the past have. Their way of life is to marry whomever your parents and society sees fit, regardless of the absence of love. Kitty has feelings for both Vronsky and Levin and at first chooses Vronsky because of reasons that were instilled in her by the women in her society.

She knows that Levin genuinely loves her and it breaks her heart to break his heart but she feels it is her duty to marry someone like Vronsky. In Part one chapter 15, after she has refused Levins proposal, she contents herself only by thinking of Vronsky, She vividly pictured to herself that strong manly face, that well-bred calm and the kindness toward everybody he always showed. Kitty doesnt realize at this point that Vronskys public persona is what she loves and not the real person that he is. Hes the man that deceived her into thinking that he was interested in marrying her and who will eventually get a married woman pregnant.

In conclusion, this minor moment in part two chapter three has a significant meaning to the story because Kitty is the only one who challenges society and the way that marriages should be arranged. She falls in love with Vronsky not really knowing who he is and what he is about. She refuses to give him or anyone for that matter, a second chance because she will not be humiliated in the way that so many women in her society have. Pride in her case turns out to be a good thing because she demands more out of a marriage than simply financial security and a man with high social status. She wants a marriage in which love is the most important thing that holds them together, not the fact that they have three children and society expects them to remain married because that is whats proper. Her values make her different from her sisters and mother and are what lead her to a happy marriage and life with Levin.

The causes and effects of the recent rise in divorce rates

From the past to present, people all over the world have determined to live together, which is called get marriage in another word, so that they depend on for living each other. Nevertheless, some couples are unable to maintain their relationship; therefore they choose divorce, which is one of the solutions to cope with problems between husband and wife. Furthermore, most people think carefully before they get marriage. However, the divorce rates trend to continually increase nowadays, thus it might be argued that divorces can be taken place easier than the past.

There are three main causes of divorce: changing womans roles, stress in modern living and lack of communication, which are highlighted below. The first significant cause of recent rise in the rates of divorce is that women completely change in roles. In the past, men have to earn whole money to afford the expense of family, whereas woman only do housework, hence women have no money leading to depend on husbands money. Because of these situations, it is too difficult for most women to separate from their husbands. Nonetheless, these situations entirely change nowadays.

The equality between men and women in roles are very clear at the moment, thus women can work outside to earn money, while men share the household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, washing as well as caring for children. It can be clearly seen that women are independent from money as they can earn money by themselves to support their living cost. Accordingly, the divorce rates recently rise. Another cause to confirm the recent increase in divorce rates is stress in modern living. Many people, who live in globalisation, have considerable pressures to earn money.

It can be obviously seen that the stress has occurred since they are children. For instance, in Thailand, students generally want to go to famous school so that they take advantage to go to well-known universities. Studying in celebrated universities mostly causes having a good opportunity to find a job or earn a lot of money. This circumstance not only happens in Thailand, but also occurs in many countries. Some people are laid off from their companies; consequently the stress occurs in their family, which leads to divorce.

Some families can earn money, but inadequate for covering their expenses, therefore it is easy to think about divorce. Nevertheless, the rates of unemployment trend to continually increase as a result the divorce rates can also rise. It is no doubt that the stress in modern living may lead to recently increasing divorce rates. The final cause of recently increasing divorce is lack of communication. Owing to financial status in each family, many people are fairly busy. For this reason, they have inadequate time to talk to the problems with their partners, which produces the likelihood of divorce.

Some couples are often quiet when they have problems each other, as a consequence little problems can be expanded to probably become huge problems, resulting in divorce. It is quite clear that the more communications are used, the more divorce rates are reduced. Although, these three cause of the recent rise in divorce rates are expressed above, there are also two effects of the recent increase of divorce rates: negative effects and positive effects Firstly, the effects of recent enlargement in divorce rates are negative effects.

Most couples normally have children when they get marriage. Accordingly, divorces can directly effect on children. Children living in single parent families are more probably to get pregnant as teenagers, drop out of high school, abuse drugs and have aggressively emotional and behavioural problems, which lead to social problems. Some children decide to go out of their home when their parents separate each other, and subsequently they become homeless children. They do not have good opportunities to find a job due to shortage of education.

Consequently, crime may likely be the end result. These are significantly negative effects of recent expansion in divorce rates. Secondly, on the other hand, another effects of rise in divorce rates are positive effects. People, who divorce by consent from their partners, want to have better quality of life, since they are unhappy with their spouses. Accordingly, they can work efficiently, which results from fine mental condition. They not only have more free time to do many things, but also free from their spouses murmurs.

In addition, divorces also get rid of the violence of quarrel between husband and wife, hence everybody in family get better in physical and mental healthy, particularly for children. These are the advantageous effects of increasing divorce rates. In conclusion, a family is one of the important parts of society, thus many people had better aware of the significance of relationship in family. At the moment, divorce have become the substantial problem because of changing womens roles, stress in modern living and lack of communication.

Nevertheless, there are also the two different ways in effects, which are negative and positive effects. Some couples, which have no children, divorce by consent, therefore divorce should be good solution for couples to deal with this problem. On the other hand, some couples having children in their family should think deliberatively before they end their marriage in divorce; otherwise innocent children probably become victims for this situation. Although people trend to think carefully before they get marriage, the rates of divorce continuously rise nowadays.

The Institution of Marriage: A Sociological Perspective

According to Webster, marriage is defined as the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family. That sounds simple enough however, it was not always so. During the seventeenth century arranged marriages were commonplace. The primary purpose of marriage was to bring together family and property. In the colonial period couples married for friendship. Not until the 1800s did love and romance become central to marriage. Now marriage is seen as the merging of individuals instead of families.

Since then the words love and marriage have gone hand in hand. Christianity defines marriage as a holy union under god. Couples accept one another for better or for worse until death do they part. The church frowns upon the mere mention of divorce and although the values surrounding marriage have evolved, forsaking the sacrament of marriage is a sin in the eyes of a Christian god. Values such as activity and work, humanitarianism, religiosity and romantic love define the ideal Christian model although, real culture differs somewhat.

External influences create variables that affect change in how individuals prioritize their values creating the real culture that more closely resembles modern society. Americans place high value on achievement and success, an area that is augmented through education and gauged by the accumulation of material wealth. Individualism is a symptom of the economics of capitalism. The individuals goals and chances for success are enhanced by efficiency and practicality, which is in turn enhanced by technological progress. As the costs of living increase marriage has become a convenient solution to affording better quality of life.

Herein lies a paradox. A pair unites to combine financial resources yet continue to strive for individual successes. Ironically a large number of couple site financial issues as a cause of divorce. Many of the values listed above are attributed to the real culture and are applicable to the therapeutic attitude by emphasizing individuality and self-improvement. The evangelical Christian model is closely associated with symbolic interactionalism. The symbols of husband, wife, family and community are all relevant to the Christian model.

Couples declare their vows to one another under the auspices of a priest and the eyes of God after which they are declared husband and wife. A new identity that is recognized by the community as a notable achievement. The therapeutic model of marriage is a functional union whereby two individuals combine tangible, emotional and spiritual resources. Couples work systematically to advance their careers and develop their families. Together the family is able to handle many different functions of everyday life and ensure their continued success.

Values such as efficiency, practicality and progress are relevant factors to the therapeutic model. These values may potentially aid in the success of the union, however as technologies continually advance it becomes increasingly difficult to remain efficient and progressive. Future shock is a term used to label the inability of a society to comprehend technology as fast as new technologies are introduced. Consider the fact that many of us still have difficulty programming the clocks on a VCR. Compound that issue with the introduction of the DVD player.

How can we begin to understand digital video when we are still learning how to operate an analog device. Technology may very well assist some marriages; on the other hand it can also have less than favorable effects. Most of us want to have a loving and successful marriage. However, accomplishing this task is harder than it may seem. Much time and energy must be devoted to a marriage in order to make it last. There are many characteristics that have been found to be predictors of good marriages, but with so many variables to consider, what makes a good marriage? The answer may continue to elude us for years to come.

Marriage Report Essay

Marriage is a long term union whereby two people, sometimes of the same gender, other times of different genders whom make a mutual decision to be together. Inter-faith marriage occurs between people from different religious traditions; in which sometimes the spouses are from different religious backgrounds, nationalities, races, ethnic groups, or economic levels. The more significant differences in religious backgrounds are the greatest challenges that couples need to overcome before and during marriage. At times the efforts to resolve the differences can bring the ouple closer and at other times drive them even further apart.

Worldwide marriage brings together not only a couple but also relatives, neighbors, and others in a network that strongly influences the marriage. The article by Schlessinger discusses the effects of interfaith marriage on the family, discussing mainly how it affects the children of interfaith marriages and why divorce rates are high within interfaith unions. The source of many inter-faith marriage conflicts is found in the teachings of exclusiveness by the spouses’ own faith groups many members ccept the teachings of their church.

The potential of conflict between two spouses is obvious, if each feels that theirs is the only “God- approved” faith tradition. ” (Schlesinger), they have little room for compromise. When it comes to children being born into interfaith marriages, there seems to be more of a concern in regards to what religion the child shall be brought up in. Everyone loves the child from grandparents to relatives and this should mean that any decision that regards the child’s religion should not be dealt with too much difficulty.

Unfortunately, too often religion is a hot topic that leads to family conflicts. The reason is that religion is a very basic part of each parent’s identity and it’s hard to give up one’s identity. ” (Schlessinger). Egos get involved and if families are not careful, this can turn into a win or lose situation which in my experience means everybody loses, especially the children. “Religious upbringing is important for children even if the child will reject organized religion or change affiliation when he or she becomes an adult. ” (Schlessinger).

Religion does two things: it helps us deal with the meaning of life and it helps teach us the laws of moral human behavior. In turn, it gives children a sense of belonging to a group wider than the nuclear or extended family. We need to ask ourselves if there a correlation between religious intermarriages and divorce rate and if so does religious intermarriage increase the divorce rate? Most crude statistics indicate that it does, they are seldom refined, and other factors that lead to divorce such as education, could be a major problem in a relationship.

It is probable that eligious differences are frequently used as a scapegoat in marital difficulties in reality caused by other factors” (Schlessinger). There are various things a couple can do to save their marriage. Although marriages fail because of various reasons couples can always fix their marriage through couple’s therapy, counselors, and not to mention friends and family. These resources can only benefit couples it both are willing to make their relationship work. One of the most important things interfaith couples can do to minimize conflict and increase unity is to focus on what they have in ommon.

Put aside your differences and decide to love each other even though you disagree about religion, Build a sacred sense of commitment in your marriage. Good communication skills are essential to success in every marriage, and they become all the more critical in an interfaith marriage. Most of all there is a need to respect your spouses’ religious differences. Finding a religious middle ground can strengthen your relationship. Learning about your spouse’s faith and religion can help you find the values you hold in common.

As you find shared values, you will gain greater nderstanding of one another. When interfaith couples have children, they add a new and powerful potential area of conflict over religious differences. Couples need to decide what religion they want their child to belong to. ” (Schlessinger). This decision is one of the most important decisions an interfaith couple can make, dealing with differences in holidays can cause conflict in what should be a time of unity and togetherness. Complications can be avoided if couples work hard at their relationship as no relationship can work without wanting to make it work.

Interfaith marriages can be successful and happy if both spouses are willing to work hard at committing to one another, showing respect for one another, and focusing on shared values. When children come along, it’s important to place the best interests of the child first as decisions are made about how to religiously raise the child and how to celebrate holidays. As interfaith couples carefully consider these issues with sensitivity toward one another, they can avoid most of the conflict around religious differences and will be able to build a loving and unified relationship and family life.

Early Marriage Essay

According to UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Centre, the “practice of marrying girls at a young age is most common in Sub-Saharan African and South Asia”. There are specific parts of West Africa and East Africa and of South Asia where marriages before puberty are not unusual. However, the Centre also notes that marriage shortly after puberty is common among those living traditional lifestyles in the Middle East, North Africa and other parts of Asia. Marriages of female adolescents between sixteen and eighteen are common in parts of Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Some are forced into this union, others are simply too young to make an informed decision. Consent is made by somebody else on the child’s behalf. The child does not have the opportunity to exercise her right to choose. For this reason, early marriages are also referred to as forced marriages. In its most extreme form, forced marriages are the result of abductions. In Uganda, young girls are abducted and forced to marry senior leaders in the guerrilla movement known as the Lord’s Resistance Army. The marriages are used as a reward and incentive for male soldiers. There are a number of reasons why tradition of child marriages continues.

Fear of HIV infection has encouraged men in many countries to seek younger ‘partners’. Early marriages is one way to ensure that young girls are ‘protected’. Families in rural Albania encourage their daughters to marry early to avoid the threat of kidnapping. In conflict torn Somalia, families married their daughters to militia members in exchange for protection for the girl, as well as for themselves. Where poverty is acute, early marriage is also seen as a strategy for economic survival. In Iraq, early marriages are on the increase in response to poverty inflicted by the economic sanctions that have been imposed on the country.

In situations such as this, the risk of exploitation is great. A recent study of five poor villages in Egypt, for example, found that young girls were being married off to much older men from the oil rich Middle Eastern countries via brokers. Many girls are forced to marry early suffer from prolonged domestic violence. Furthermore, early marriage is often linked to wife abandonment. This plungers young girls into extreme poverty and increases the risk of her entering or being forced to enter, the commercial sex trade. At times, the marriage was never intended to be a permanent union.

Temporary marriages are possible via a short term marriage contact, known as Siqueh in Iran. Combined with a low legal age of marriage it is possible to circumvent the illegal act of child prostitution. In Bangladesh, poverty-stricken parents are persuaded to part with their daughters through promises of marriage, or false marriages, which are used to lure the girls into prostitution abroad. Police in Cambodia say that hundreds, perhaps thousands of young women have been lured to Taiwan with promises of marriage to wealthy men, only to find themselves sold to a brothel owner.

Poverty is the primary reason for early marriage. In Bangladesh, for example, poverty-stricken parents who can no longer afford to take care of their daughters are persuaded to part with them through marriage, which is often a means of recruiting young girls into a life of prostitution abroad. In Iraq, where 28 percent of adolescents marry before the age of 18, a recent suvey revealed that poverty was the number one reason parents encouraged their children to marry early. Out-of-wedlock pregnancies are yet another factor in the rush to marry early.

In Niger, a recent survey found that 44 percent of 20 to 24 year-old women in were married before they reached the age of 15 because their fathers were concerned about the potential of pregnancies outside of marriage. Effects: For both boys and girls, early marriage has devastating physical, emotional, and intellectual consequences. The practice virtually ends a child’s chances of pursuing an education or exploring professional and social life opportunities. For girls, the end result of child marriage has almost invariably been premature pregnancy.

Girls aged 15 to 19 give birth to 15 million babies a year. Many of them do so without attending an ante-natal clinic or receiving the help of a professional midwife. The consequences of early pregnancy include not only higher rates of maternal mortality worldwide, but also the possible development of holes in the lining that separates the vagina from the bladder or rectum. The condition, known as fistula, is common in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Child marriage also increases the risk of exposure to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases for teenage girls.

Exposure to these diseases is often related to the false belief amongst some in non-industrialized countries that any man who sleeps with a virgin will be cured of HIV/AIDS. And beyond the physiological damage of child marriage, girls are also more likely to face a lifetime of domestic and sexual subservience. The domestic violence that comes with early marriage has compelled many young girls to run away in desperation. “Those who do so, ” according to the UNICEF report, “and those who choose a marriage partner against the wishes of their parents, may be punished, or even killed by their families.

These girls run the risk of ‘honor killings’–the murder of a woman who has scorned her family name. Honor killings now regularly occur in Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Turkey. In Egypt, 29 percent of married adolescent girls have been beaten by their husbands and, of these girls, 41 percent have been beaten during pregnancy. In Jordan, a study published last year revealed that 26 percent of reported cases of domestic violence were committed against wives who were under the age of 18. Improvements:

Prevention of the practice comes through education of parents and children–married or not–about the dangers of early marriage. UNICEF has launched two programs to tackle the problem in South Asia and Africa, the two regions with the highest rates of child marriage in the world. In South Asia, UNICEF runs the Meena Initiative, which educates people about the danger of preferring male babies and focuses on the unfair treatment girls receive in the family as well as their lack of access to healthcare and education.

The initiative also attempts to raise consciousness about harmful traditional practices such as dowry, sexual harassment and early marriage. In Africa, UNICEF has launched a radio program called the Sara Adolescent Girl Communication Initiative in ten eastern and southern African countries. The program implores its listeners to keep girls in school. It also cover topics such as HIV/AIDS, domestic responsibilities for females, Female Genital Mutilation and early marriage.

Euphoric and Dysphoric Phases in Marriage

Despite all the fashionable theories of marriage, the narratives and the feminists, the reasons to engage in marriage largely remain the same. True, there have been role reversals and new stereotypes have cropped up. But the biological, physiological and biochemical facts were less amenable to modern criticisms of culture. Men are still men and women are still women in more than one respect. Men and women marry for the same reasons : The Sexual Dyad formed due to sexual attraction and in order to secure a stable, consistent and permanently available source of sexual gratification.

The Economic Dyad To form a functioning economic unit within which the economic activities of the members of the dyad and of additional entrants will be concentrated. The economic unit generates more wealth than it consumes and the synergy between its members is likely to lead to gains in production and in productivity relative to individual efforts and investment. The Social Dyad The members of the couple bond as a result of implicit or explicit, direct, or indirect social pressure. This pressure can manifest itself in numerous forms.

In Judaism, a person cannot belong to some religious vocations, unless he is married. This is economic pressure. In most human societies, avowed bachelors are considered to be socially deviant and abnormal. They are condemned by society, ridiculed, shunned and isolated, effectively ex-communicated. Partly to avoid these sanctions and partly to enjoy the warmth provided by conformity and acceptance, couples marry. Today, a myriad of lifestyles is on offer. The old fashioned, nuclear marriage is one of many variants. Children are reared by single parents. Homosexual couples abound.

But in all this turbulence, a pattern is discernible : almost 95% of the adult population gets married ultimately. They settle into a two-member arrangement, whether formalized and sanctioned religiously or legally or not. The Companionship Dyad Formed by adults in search of sources of long-term and stable support, emotional warmth, empathy, care, good advice and intimacy. The members of these couples tend to define themselves as each other’s best friends. It is folk wisdom to state that the first three types of dyad arrangements suffer from instability.

Sexual attraction wanes and is replaced by sexual attrition in most cases. This could lead to the adoption of non-conventional sexual behaviour patterns (sexual abstinence, group sex, couple swapping, etc. ) or to recurrent marital infidelity. Economics are not sufficient grounds for a lasting relationship, either. In today’s world, both partners are potentially financially independent. This new found autonomy corrodes the old patriarchal-domineering-disciplinarian pattern of relationship. It is replaced by a more balanced, business like, version with children and the couples welfare and life standard as the products.

Marriages based solely on these considerations and motivations are as easy to dismantle and as likely to unravel as is any other business collaboration. Social pressures are a potent maintainer of family cohesiveness and apparent stability. But being enforced from the outside it resembles detention rather than a voluntary arrangement, with the same level of happiness to go with it. Moreover, social norms, peer pressure, social conformity cannot be relied upon to fulfil the roles of stabilizer and shock absorber reliably.

Norms change, peer pressure can adversely influence the survival of the marriage (If all my friends are divorced and apparently content, why shouldn’t I try it, too ? ). It is only the companionship dyad, which appears to be enduring. Friendships deepen with time. While sex deteriorates, economic motives are reversible or voidable, and social norms are fickle companionship, like wine, gets better with time. Even when planted on the most desolate land, under the most difficult and insidious circumstances this obdurate seed sprouts and blossoms.

Matchmaking is done in heaven goes the old Jewish saying but Jewish matchmakers were not averse to lending the divine process a hand. After closely scrutinizing the background of both candidates male and female a marriage was pronounced. In other cultures, marriages were arranged by prospective or actual fathers without asking for the embryos or the toddlers consent. The surprising fact is that arranged marriages last much longer than those, which are, ostensibly, the result of romantic love. Moreover: the longer a couple cohabitates prior to the marriage, the higher the likelihood of divorce.

So, romantic love and cohabitation (getting to know each other better) are negative precursors and predictors of marital longevity, contrary to commonsense. Companionship grows out of friction within a formal arrangement, which is devoid of escape clauses. In marriages where divorce is not an option (due to prohibitive economic or social costs or because of legal impossibility) companionship will grudgingly develop and with it contentment, if not happiness. Companionship is the offspring of pity and empathy and shared events and fears and common suffering and the wish to protect and to shield and habit forming.

Sex is fire companionship is old slippers: comfortable, static, useful, warm, secure. We get attached very quickly and very thoroughly to that with which we are in constant touch. This is a reflex that has to do with survival. We attach to other mothers and have our mothers attach to us. In the absence of social interactions, we die younger. We need to bond and to create dependency in others. The marital cycle is composed of euphorias and dysphorias (which are more of the nature of panic). They are the source of our dynamism in seeking out mates, copulating, coupling (marrying) and reproducing.

The source of these changing moods is to be found in the meaning that we attach to our marriages. They constitute the real, irrevocable, irreversible and serious entry into adult society. Previous rites of passage (like the Jewish Bar Mitzvah, the Christian Communion and more exotic rites elsewhere) prepare us only partially to the shock of realizing that we are about to emulate our parents. During the first years of our lives, we tend to view our parents as omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent demigods (or complete gods). Our perception of them, of ourselves and of the world is magical.

All are entangled, constantly interacting, identity interchanging entities. Our parents are idealized and, then, as we get disillusioned, they are internalized to become the first and most important among the myriad of inner voices that guide our lives. As we grow up (adolescence) we rebel against our parents (in the final phases of identity formation) and then learn to accept them and to resort to them in times of need. But the primordial gods of our infancy never die, nor do they lie dormant. They lurk in our superego, conducting an incessant dialogue with the other structures of our personality.

They constantly criticize and analyse, make suggestions and reproach. The hiss of these voices is the background radiation of our personal big bang. Thus, to get married, is to become gods, to commit sacrilege, to violate the very existence of our mother and father, to defile the inner sanctum of our formative years. This is a rebellion so momentous, so all encompassing, touching upon the very foundation of our personality that we shudder in anticipation of the imminent and, no doubt, horrible punishment that awaits us for being so presumptuous and iconoclastic. This, indeed, is the first dysphoria, which accompanies our mental preparations.

Preparedness is achieved at a cost of great consternation and the activation of a host of primitive defence mechanisms, which lay dormant hitherto. We deny, we regress, we repress, we project to no avail. The battle is waged and it is horrific to behold. Luckily, only its echoes reach our consciousness and only in our dreams does it find a fuller (though more symbol laden) expression. This self-induced panic is the result of a conflict. On the one hand, the person knows that it is absolutely life threatening to remain alone (both biologically and psychologically).

A feeling of urgency emerges which propels the person with a great thrust to find a mate. On the other hand, there is this feeling of impending disaster, that he is doing something wrong, that an act of blasphemy and sacrilege is in the making. Getting married is the most terrifying rite of passage. The reaction is to confine oneself to known territories. The terra cognita of ones neighbourhood, country, language, race, culture, language, background, profession, social stratum, education. The individual defines himself by belonging to these groups. They imbue him with feelings of security and firmness.

It is to them that he applies in his quest to find a mate. There, in the confidence of yore, he seeks to find the security of morrow. Solace can be found in familiar grounds. The panicked person can be calmed and restored among his peers and (mental, economic, social) brethren. No wonder that more than 80% of the marriages take place among members of the same social class, profession, race, creed and breed. True: the chances to come across a mate are bigger within these groups and associations but the more predominant reason is the comfort that it provides. The dysphoria is replaced by an euphoria.

This is the euphoria, which naturally accompanies any triumph in life. Overcoming the panic is such a triumph and not a mean one at that. Subduing the internal tyrants (or guides, depending on the character of the primary objects) of yesteryear qualifies the young adult to become one himself. He cannot become a parent unless and until he eradicates his parents. This is patricide and matricide committed with great trepidation and pain. But the victory is rewarding all the same and it leads to feelings of renewed vigour, new-found optimism, sensations of omnipotence and other traces of magical thinking.

The adult is ready to court his mate, woo her, hypnotize her into being his. He is full of the powers of life, of hormones, of energy. He gushes forth, he resounds with the tintinnabulation’s of a better future, his eyes glint, his speech revives. In short, he is immersed in romantic love. Being a suitor is a full time emotional job. The chances of success are enhanced the more mentally and emotionally available is the youth, the less burdened he is with past unresolved conflicts.

The more successfully resolved the previous, dysphoric phase the more vigorous the ensuing euphoric one and the bigger the chances of mating, generation and reproduction. But our conflicts are never really put to eternal rest. They lie dormant in the waiting. The next anti-climatic dysphoric phase transpires when the attempts to secure (the consent of) a mate are met with success. It is easier and more satisfying to dream. Fighting for a cause is always preferable to the dreariness of materializing it. Mundane routine is the enemy of love and of optimism.

This is where all dreams end and harsh reality intrudes with its uncompromising demands. The assent of the future spouse forces the youth to move forward in a path which grows irreversible and ominous as he progresses. The emotional investment is about to acquire economic and social dimensions. The weight is growing heavier, the commitment deeper, the escape remoter, the end inevitable. The person feels trapped, shackled, threatened. His newfound stability flounders. He staggers along a way of no return leading to what looks like a dead end.

The strength of these negative emotions depends, to a very large extent, on the parental models of the individual and on the kind of family life that he experienced. The worse the earlier (and only) available example the mightier the sense of entrapment and resulting paranoia and backlash. But most people overcome this stage fright and proceed to formalize a relationship. They get married in a religious institution, or in a civil court, or sign a contract, or make their own arrangements. The formality resides in the institutionalization of the relationship not necessarily in the choice of the legal host.

This decision, this leap of faith is the corridor, which leads to the palatial hall of post-nuptial euphoria. This time the euphoria is mostly a social reaction. The new status (just married) bears a cornucopia of social rewards and incentives, some of them enshrined in legislation. Economic benefits, social approval, familial support, the envious reactions of the younger, the expectations and joys of marriage (freely available sex, children, lack of parental or societal control, newly experienced unrestrained and almost unconstrained freedoms).

All these infuse the person with another magical bout of feelings of omnipotence. The control that he exercises over his lebensraum, over his spouse, over his life is translated into a fountain of mental forces emanating from the persons very being. He feels confidence, his self esteem skyrockets, he sets high goals and seriously intends to achieve them. To him, everything is possible, now that he is left to his own devices and is supported by his mate. With luck and the right partner, this frame of mind can last and be prolonged.

However, as lifes disappointments accumulate, obstacles mount, the possible sorted out from the improbable and time inexorably passes the feeling of well being and of willingness to take on the world and its challenges abates. The reserves of energy and determination dwindle. Gradually, the person slides into a dysphoric (even anhedonic or depressed) mood which colours his entire life. The coloration stops at nothing. The routines of his life, their mundane attributes, the contrast between the glamour of our dreams (however realistically construed) and the reality of our day to day existence these erode his previous horizon.

It tends to shrink and imprison him in what looks like a life sentence. He feels suffocated and in his bitterness and agony, in his fear of entrapment, he lashes at his spouse. She represents to him this dead end situation. Had it not been for this new responsibility he would not have let his life atrophy thus. Thoughts of breaking loose, of going back to the parental nest, of revoking the arrangements agreed upon begin to frequent the troubled mind and to intrude upon al planning. Dismantling the existing is a frightening prospect.

Again, panic sets it. Conflict rears its ugly head. Cognitive dissonance abounds. Inner turmoil leads to irresponsible, self-defeating and self-destructive behaviour. A lot of marriages end here. Those that survive do so because of children. In his quest for an outlet, a solution, a release of the bottled tensions, an exit from numbing boredom, from professional inertia and death both members of the couple (providing they still possess the minimal wish to save the marriage) hit upon the same idea but from different directions.

The woman finds it an attractive and efficient way of securing the bonding, fastening the relationship and transforming it into a long-term commitment. Bringing a child to the world is perceived by her to be a double whammy (partly because of social and cultural conditioning during the socialization process). On the one hand, it is in all likelihood the glue to cement the hitherto marriage of fun or of convenience. On the other, it is the ultimate manifestation of her femininity. Children are, therefore, brought to the world as an insurance policy against the disintegration of their parents relationships.

Love and attachment follow later. The male reaction is more compounded. At first, the child is (at least unconsciously) perceived to be an extension of the state of entrapment and stagnation. The man realizes that a child will only drag him deeper into the quagmire. The quicksand characteristics of his life seem to be only amplified by this new entrant. The dysphoria deepens and matures into full-fledged panic. It then subsides and gives way to a sense of awe and wonder. As it increases, it becomes all-pervasive.

A psychedelic feeling of being part parent (to the child) and part child (to his own parents) ensues. The birth of the child and his first stages of development only serve to deepen this odd sensation. Child rearing is a difficult task. It is time and energy consuming. It is emotionally taxing. It denies the parent long obtained achievements and long granted rights (such as privacy or intimacy or self-indulgence or even sleep). It is a full-blown crisis and trauma with potentially the severest consequences. The strain on the relationship of the parents in enormous.

They either completely break down or are revived by the common challenge and hardships. A period of collaboration and reciprocity, of mutual support and increasing love follows. An euphoric phase sets in. Everything else pales besides the little miracle. The child becomes the centre of Narcissistic feelings, of hopes and fears, the heart of an emotional tornado. So much is vested and invested in him and, initially, the child gives so much in return that it blots away the daily problems, tedious procedures, failures, disappointments and aggravations.

But this role of his is temporary. The more autonomous a child becomes, the more knowledgeable, the less innocent the less rewarding, the more frustrating, the sadder the scene, the more dysphoric. The childrens adolescence, the dysfunction of a couple, the members of which grew apart, developed separately and are estranged set the scenery and pave the way to the next major dysphoria: the midlife crisis. This, essentially, is a crisis of reckoning, of inventory taking, a disillusionment, a realization and assimilation of ones mortality.

The person looks back and sees how little he has achieved, how short the time left, how unrealistic his expectations were and are, how alienated he is from his society, his country, his culture, his closest, how ill-equipped he is to cope with all this and how irrelevant and unhelpful is marriage is. To him, it is all a fake, a Potemkin village, a facade behind which rot and corruption have consumed his life and corroded his vitality. This seems to be a last chance to recuperate, to recover lost ground, to strike one more time.

Aided by others youth (a young lover, students, his own children, a young partner or consultant, a start up company) the person tries to recreate his beginnings in a vain effort to make amends, not to commit the same mistakes twice. This crisis is exacerbated by the empty nest syndrome (as children grow up and live the parental home). A major topic of consensus, a catalyst of interaction between the members of the couple thus disappears. The vacuity of the relationship, the gaping hole formed by the termites of a thousand marital discords is revealed.

It is the couples chance to fill it in with empathy and mutual support. Most fail, however. They discover that they lost faith in their powers to rejuvenate each other. They are suffocated by fumes of grudges, regrets and sorrows. They want out into a fresher (younger) atmosphere. And out they go. Those who do remain, revert to accommodation rather than to love, to co-existence rather to experimentation, to arrangements of convenience rather to revival. It is a sad sight to behold. As biological decay sets in, the couple heads into the ultimate dysphoria : ageing and death.

Polygamy Is It Evil

As a general rule I dont spend much time contemplating political affairs on the news. My interest in politics is minimal and I feel that most of what is said is a bunch of rhetoric, where common sense solutions or agreements are never the norm. But, with all the media attention lately on polygamist, Tom Green, my curiosity was piqued and I wondered about the timing and why Green was being prosecuted when polygamy has not been a punishable offense since the debated raid on a polygamist community at Short Creek, Arizona on July 26, 1953.

On Friday May 18, 2001, Tom Green was found guilty f four counts of bigamy and one count of failing to pay child support. I hope to convince you that polygamy is not the menace to society that David Leavitt presents it to be and why polygamy needs to be legalized. Bigamy is against the law in Utah, and if I have a provable case, I have a duty to prosecute it, Juab County Attorney David Leavitt said But should bigamy be against the law? The First Amendment to the Constitution states, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;[].

So how is it that the government is involved in an institution sanctioned by God himself. Polygamy has been practiced for thousands of years by mankind. The Christian church accepted and practiced polygamy until the seventeen century. Charles A. Rubenstein Evelyn Humes, p. 2 reports that Mosaic law had no exception to the accepted practice of polygamy. The Old Testament patriarchs from Abraham to Solomon had plural wives and/or concubines. Opponents to polygamy claim that laws are needed to preserve and protect societys most important unit, the family.

Women are made slaves they claim and the children are brainwashed and in some cases abused. Young girls in their early teens are forced to arry men thirty or more years their elder. The Green case is a good example. Tom Green is facing child rape charges stemming from his marriage to Linda Kunz when she was only 13. Why has it taken the state 15 years to decide to seek justice in this case; the courts should have intervened when these women were in their teens.

The name David Leavitt was not well-known, now we all know that he is a prosecuting attorney in Juab County and the brother of Mike Leavitt the Governor of Utah, who themselves have a heritage of polygamy. Green has been on several national news programs such as Dateline, The Today Show and the Sally Jessy Raphael Show talking about his lifestyle, not the image that the state of Utah would like to have portrayed especially with the Olympics Games just around the corner. And, it needs to be considered that Green is an easy target.

Who is going to object, no public outcry, certainly other polygamist are not. We already have laws dealing with statutory rape, child abuse, welfare fraud and murder let the courts justifiably seek punishment on these abuses, but the institution of plural marriage as it was first introduced is not a threat to society and is protected by the First Amendment. In this age of same sex partners, partial birth abortions, the debate to legalize marijuana, and the legalizing of RU-486 a pill that terminates pregnancies up to seven Evelyn Humes, p. weeks, polygamy as a plague on society pales in comparison.

In The Daily Herald, David Leavitt estimated, a very rough preliminary estimate, that cost for the bigamy trial was $24,000. There are approximately 30,000 polygamists in the western United States. It will be a very expensive proposition if the courts start down that road. Those outside of Utah have a negative perception of polygamy that comes from the edia news of the few religious fanatics. People like Lafferty, who said that God told him to kill his sister-in-law and the Lebaron and Kingston clans who are just another Mafia in disguise.

Utah residents are no more empathic toward polygamy than those outside of the state. Seventy-four percent of the people polled in a KTVX television survey believe that polygamy is a crime. Morrill Antibigamy Act of 1862 made polygamy a criminal offense and forced the dissolution of the corporation of the Mormon church and gave the federal government the legal right to seize church property. The Edmunds-Tucker Act passed in 1887 required wives to testify against their husbands and also allowed the right of government to seize church property.

The Edmunds-Tucker Act was later repealed. It was these acts that Rudger Clawson a polygamist, made reference to in his poignant statement before Judge Charles S. Zane pronounced sentence on November 3, 1884. I regret very much that the laws of my Country come in conflict with the laws of God, but whenever they do, I shall invariably choose to obey the latter. If I did not so express myself, I should feel unworthy of the cause I represent.

The Constitution of the United States expressly provides that Congress shall make no law respecting Evelyn Humes, p. the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and it cannot be denied, I think, that marriage, when attended and sanctioned by religious rites, is an element in the establishment of religion. The Anti-Polygamy law of 1862 and the Edmunds-Tucker law of 1882 were expressly designed to operate against plural marriage as believed in and practiced by the Latter-day Saints. These laws are, therefore, unconstitutional, and cannot command the respect that is given to Constitutional laws. That is all I have to say, your honor.

Rudger Clawson was convicted of polygamy and unlawful cohabitation, by the state of Utah in the third district court. Judge Zane sentenced him to four years in the Utah Territorial Penitentiary and fined a total of $800. 00. Clawson has the distinction of being the first Mormon to be convicted and imprisoned for violating the law as set forth in the Edmunds Act of 1882. On October 4, 1884, Clawson had been arraigned on charges of unlawful cohabitation, two weeks later it was declared a mistrial for lack of evidence. At bout this time, Clawsons second wife Lydia, came out of hiding, on that same night she was served with a subpoena.

A retrial was held just four days later where Lydia was called to testify, when she refused, Judge Zane held her in contempt of court. She was taken to the Utah Territorial Prison, that night Clawson begged her to testify so that she would not have to spend another night in the prison. The next day, October 25, 1884, Lydia admitted that she was married to Rudger Clawson. She was the only witness, no other arguments were heard; on her testimony alone a verdict of guilty of polygamy and nlawful cohabitation was returned. During Clawsons imprisonment his first wife, Florence Dinwoodey, divorced him.

Evelyn Humes, p. 5 The heartache and deprivation that these people suffered is written in their journals and diaries. Between the years of 1884 and 1895 more 900 Mormon polygamist men were incarcerated in the Utah Penitentiary for practicing their religious beliefs. The fear of prosecution has driven most polygamists to practice in secrecy or away from judging eyes. Though the Mormon Church prohibits the practice of plural marriage oday, there is no doubt that in the mind and heart of the polygamist that what they believe and practice is a God mandated commandment.

If polygamy were legalized and brought out in the open for all to scrutinize there would be less abuses. The practice of polygamy between consenting adults should be a choice and freedom accorded to these people. The First Amendment guarantees the freedom to worship as conscience dictates, suppressing this freedom under bogus laws invalidates the First Amendment. This is America where the oppressed masses found haven from the injustices and persecution of their religious beliefs.

Cohabitation and Marriage

Things have changed a great deal from the Puritanical beliefs integrated long ago that said people must have a license in order to live together. Now, blended families are commonplace and “marriages” between people of the same sex are a reality. The history of marriage and family is actually filled with a variety of thought quite foreign to say, the average American. Marriage was often an agreement of practicality, arranged to provide a linkage between family fortunes. The film Titanic exemplifies this type of thinking even as late as the turn of the century.

Thus, it is only in relatively recent history that marriage has been looked at in terms of romance. Although throughout the twentieth century the subject of marriage is linked with white wedding dresses and three tiered whipped cream cakes, it has also broached the question of whether or not the committed couple should live together before the big wedding day. While it is less controversial today than, say, fifty years ago, some still call it “living in sin. ” The primary objections stem from a religious point of view and those who do choose to cohabit before the ink is dry on the marriage license are subject to criticism.

Maclean’s reports that such living arrangements used to be considered lower class but new statistics reveal that these so-called common law marriages are much more widespread (Macleans 14). The number of couples living together in Canada, without benefit of marriage, almost tripled between 1981 and 1995 (14). Some suggest that the increase is attributable to the fact that the arrangement has much less of a stigma attached now (14). The reason that the stigma is lessened is due to the fact that the current people in their twenties have parents who have also cohabited before marriage.

This is the first time that this phenomenon has occurred as the boomers began the loosening of sexual mores in the society during the turbulent sixties. While it is true that living together is more acceptable, it is far from widely acceptable in the still rigid American culture. It is interesting to note that during the period from 1960 to 1980, the divorce rate doubled (Nadeau 312). Studies show that divorce was most common in the second year of marriage (312). Because it was also a time that people began to live together more frequently, researchers began to ask if that had anything to do with the increasing divorce rate.

But no correlation was found. In fact, Fisher found that even though the number of American couples living together tripled in the seventies, the peak year for divorce among married couples remained the same (312). Living together may have some effect on an impending marriage. Of course, the obvious effect would be that the couple realizes that they are not right for each other, or marriage is not right for them, and they would not marry at all. There are also those relationships that seem to go on endlessly and never culminate in a commitment, even though one party or another want to make things official.

Cohabiting prior to marriage would likely not have much of a positive or negative effect in todays society because the actual relationship would stay the same regardless of the living arrangements. If any effect would be noticeable at all, it would be the effect on the children the couple have or would have in the future of the relationship. Statistics show that the number of children living in families with married couples declined from 88% (Furstenberg 34) in 1960 to 69% (34) in 1994. Divorce does explain the drop to some extent, but much of the change may be attributed to the rise in nonmarital childbearing (34).

Births occurring out of wedlock went from a mere 5% (34) in 1960 to 31% (34) in 1993. Some of these have occurred among couples who are living together; however, the vast majority of these babies were born to single parents (34). Thus, when people live together it should not affect “the family. ” Many people do decide to make it legal at some point during cohabitation and it is not necessarily true that more out of wedlock babies are born to cohabiting couples. The statistics do not support that assumption. Often, people live together for practical reasons such as sharing expenses.

If there is no religious dictum in the way, this arrangement should not negatively affect the future marriage. However, for people who have a particular religious reservation the combination of personal guilt and being labeled a sinner in the eyes of the church, to name just two conflicts, could indeed affect the marriage. In such an instance living together could conceivably set up a risk factor by putting additional strife on the union. Marriage is difficult enough in the newlywed years. Living together for practical reasons, say to save for a big church wedding, may not be a good solution.

There are other reasons why people move in together. It is interesting to note that there is less marriage and more out of wedlock babies being born in poorer communities. Many young people who have low incomes believe that they lack the wherewithal to enter marriage (Furstenberg 34). They feel as if marriage has become a luxury consumer item, available only to those who have the means (34). Thus, living together, as well as single-parenthood, has become the “budget” method for starting a family (34). Many low-income people interviewed claimed that they wanted to get married, they just couldnt afford to do so (34).

Marriage can be expensive. Perhaps it is the media, playing up extravagant weddings, that is responsible for people feeling so pessimistic about the cost. In many cases, the couple doesnt even want a big church wedding with all the trimmings. It could be the “head of household” status they would lose on their income tax returns that would be so costly. It does seem that a society, which claims to value marriage, it discourages weddings from taking place due to the financial burden it places on poorer individuals. Smith suggests that marriage can increase family wealth (Hao 269).

One reason is that the household division of labor between spouses implies that the total product of a married couple is larger than the sum of the outputs of each (Becker cited in Hao 269). Also, a couple can achieve the same utility with less combined expenditure than the sum of their individual consumptions if living apart (269). These two reasons show that marriage should expand savings rather than cost more. While this is generally true, and that is what often throws unmarried couples together in the first place, for the poor who receive government benefits, or tax credits, this is simply not the case.

Thus, poorer individuals who cohabit, but remain unmarried, can achieve benefits of both the effect of a combined income and the ability to claim government handouts as well. Furstenberg says that marriage is “both a cause and a consequence of economic, cultural, and psychological stratification in American society” (34). It is true. A vicious cycle erupts as those who feel out of the loop, are further stigmatized by having out of wedlock children. It is further a way to oppress the masses.

While some poor people do cohabit in order to reap economic benefits, there are still a great many people who do so by choice. Another issue that needs to be brought up, in terms of cohabitation and marriage is the long distance relationship. While married couples generally do live together, with the emergence of relocation trends and two career couples a norm, some choose to live in different cities for convenience. Thus, today, if the traditional breadwinning male must be transferred it is sometimes the case that the wife will remain with the children in their established home, whether or not she has a career.

Sometimes it is the career that keeps a spouse from making the move, but sometimes it is a reluctance to pull up roots every three years at a companys whim. Some couples have chosen to stay married but not cohabit. One may wonder how this affects a marriage. While living together before marriage does not seem to affect the couple or family if the marriage does happen within a reasonable period of time, living apart could conceivably pull a couple apart. Living apart can be a strain, resulting in infidelity or a change in what was once a common direction.

The couple can become estranged. It is obvious that living apart can tear a marriage apart. By living apart, families miss out on help received from kin and friends of the partner (Hao 269). Marriage also institutionalizes the obligations of both parents to raise children (269). Thus, although a legal document legitimizes the relationship, it is probably more dangerous for a relationship not to live together than to cohabit without the marriage license. There is no evidence that cohabitation is detrimental to a relationship. In fact, it is probably beneficial to the relationship.

Extramarital Affairs and Marriage

Do extramarital affairs help or destroy a marriage? A lot of people say that having such affairs helped them solve the problems they had with their spouses, while other peoples marriages are destroyed by them. Do partners feel more comfortable in relationships outside their marriage and what could be the cause of that?

Studies conducted by Pittman, who argues that unfaithfulness is not normal or acceptable, have shown that first-time divorce occurs in the wake of an affair; yet its also Pittman that states that a crisis of infidelity can reawaken a petrified marriage and therapy can save the adulterous marriage, something in total contradiction with our traditional culture. Which should we believe than?

Studies by Atwater lead us to believe that the second possibility should be seriously considered; in interviewing women engaged in extramarital affairs, she found that over half of them had improved their relationships with their husbands as a result of the affair. The fact that their needs were being met outside the marriage caused a change in their behavior in the marriage, as one woman reported: Since I have this second relationship on-going, I have been able to draw my husband out more and get him to talk more… and to be more open in expressing my feelings with him…. I am slowly but surely trying to bring our relationship up to a level that meets more of my needs. The expressive area seems to be the most troubled one in these marriages, as the unfaithful wives sustained. According to Atwater, extramarital relationships occur because we are unrealistic about love and the ability of our spouse to satisfy all our sexual needs.

She concludes that there are five completely untrue myths that contribute to our faith in sexual exclusivity: one person will supply all of anothers emotional, social, and sexual needs people grow to love each other more through the years sexual exclusivity comes easily and naturally husbands and wives should be best friends extramarital affairs will destroy a marriage But lets examine this situation from the mens point of view as well.

Women and men have different expectations in extramarital relationships and while women report that their affairs are less for sexual fulfillment and more for emotional support and companionship, the most frequent reason men give for being unfaithful is either sexual rejection by their wives or the boredom of having repeated sex with the same person. The sexual excitement is a much stronger motive to cheat than for women, yet women are always more to blame for the affair than men, regardless of which one is married (we do not even have other men).

Studies by Richardson in the 1980s have shown that relationships between married men and single women are often closer than those between the man and his wife are. This happens for several reasons: she becomes more attached to him due to the support and listening he shows; studies by Wolfe report some women prefer the mistress role because this life is more interesting than that of a wife.

Women also seem to develop a higher sense of confidence as lovers. The men are more likely to expose their insecurities in this kind of relationships, which strengthens the bond between them even more. We could probably conclude that a lot of the success of an affair is due to the erroneous assumptions concerning marriage that we make influenced by social factors, but also to the fact that these affairs give you more personal space than marriages do.

Right to Unite

Sam* and Alex* have been together for two years. Recently, they decided that they would like to buy a house together. Unfortunately, they are homosexual and are having trouble attaining a loan.. If they were married, as they one day hope to be, there would be no problem getting a home loan . Marriage is not an option for Sam and Alex in the state where they live. Because they are gay, they are unable to legalize their relationship in 48 of the 50 states.

The issue of gay marriage is a very controversial subject since the late 1970’s. As of 2004, same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in any U. S. ate . Recently the development of same sex civil unions include the state of Vermont, which are designed to be similar to marriage. On May 16th 2004, the a backdrop of whoops and cheers and a party spilled onto the streets, gay and lesbian couples here began filling out applications for marriage licenses at 12:01 a. m. on Monday, when Massachussetts became the first state in the country to allow them to marry (Belluck). In 2004 a few local government officials, most notably the city officials of San Francisco, started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite being in conflict with state laws.

In 1993, Hawaii and California legalized the marriage of gay individuals, with Vermont not far behind. Proponents of this measure feel that this current movement toward recognition of same sex relationships has been a long time coming. Those who are against gay marriages feel that by allowing gay individuals to marry, the whole concept of marriage would be destroyed. The multi-disciplinary view of same sex marriages is that the opposition of theses unions hold strong in their belief of the sanctity of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The solution to this issue is satisfy both sides the concept of Domestic Partnerships.

By offering Domestic Partnerships, homosexual (and unmarried heterosexual couples) will be eligible for all of the same rights, responsibilities and benefits accorded to married heterosexual couples. Also, homosexual couples will be recognized as a legitimate union. This option will please the supporters and the opposers of this issue. Since 1989, same sex marriages have been legal in Denmark. Researchers have found that “the divorce rate among Danish homosexuals is only seventeen percent compared to forty-six percent for heterosexuals”(Jones, 22). Psychologists believe that there are several reasons for this.

Most homosexuals who are married have been together for several years before the wedding. Unlike heterosexuals, who often are wed months after the relationship begins. Also, married homosexuals tend to be older when they tie the knot. Finally, “Danish gays and lesbians rarely divorce… (because)… only those who are strongly motivated to marry do so, given society’s disapproval of overt homosexuality”(Jones, 22). Since the legalization of gay marriages in Hawaii and California are so recent, there are no current studies on the divorce rates among homosexuals in the United States.

However, one would believe that Danish statistics in this area would be comparable. “Marriage, the Supreme Court declared in 1967, is ‘one of the basic civil rights of man’… ‘the freedom to marry is essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness'”(Stoddard, 413). The Supreme Court did not differentiate between a homosexual person and a heterosexual person. It seems that the basic argument against same sex marriages it that, by allowing them, we would be desecrating the holiness of marriage and the traditional family union.

Marriage creates families and promotes social stability. In an increasingly loveless world, those who wish to commit themselves to a relationship founded upon devotion should be encouraged”(Stoddard, 413). Opponents disagree and feel that same sex marriages are unacceptable. However, they are not looking at the statistics of what family has become in today’s world. In the 1990’s, the definition of family is no longer a husband, wife and two children. There are so many ways to define family that most people think of family as a group of people who love and care for each other.

Almost 3 million of the country’s 93 million households now consist of unmarried couples”(Ames,et. al). Many groups are noticing this movement toward the non-traditional family and are taking steps to provide support. “Fran and I chose to get married for the same reason that any two people do,” said the lawyer who was fired in Georgia. “We fell in love; we wanted to spend our lives together (Quiden 411). ” In 1992, Lotus Development Corporation became the first large firm to offer benefits “to the ‘spousal equivalents’ of its gay and lesbian employees”(Spector).

Soon after, other companies followed suit. Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Incorporated and Levi Strauss along with many other small companies offer benefits to same sex partners of their employees. These companies are definitely not in the majority but it is a start in the right direction. Not all companies offer these benefits because it is the right thing to do. “Some do it only after employees put pressure on them; some believe it will make them more competitive”(Ames, et. al. ). Whatever the reason, same sex unions are becoming recognized as valid relationships.

The obvious next step is Domestic Partnerships. Currently, the approach to same sex marriage “can be divided into three models: de factors, the registered partnerships and the peculiar”(Graff,74). The de factors are countries that recognize heterosexual unmarried couples. According to these provisions, “couples that live together for a year or tow are automatically recognized for everything from pension, and inheritance to inheritance rights and alimony”(Graff,75). In Canada, lesbian and gay couples are treated like unmarried heterosexual couples and are provided with legal protection and benefits.

Peculiars are countries that have unique cultural and legal situations and therefore, cannot be compared to the United States. In South Africa, for example, “same sex partners (are treated) as ‘spouses’ for everything from health insurance to immigration rights to pension”(Graff,75). Finally, Registered Partnerships are very popular throughout Europe. The first Registered Partnership law was passed in Denmark in 1989. This law states that “(except for adoption or church weddings) every law that mentions marriage or spouses will apply equally to same sex registration and partners””(Graff,75).

In 1996, Gay partnerships were made legal in Iceland. As of 1997, Denmark, Norway and Sweden have essentially the same type of Registered Partnership Law. However, non-residents may not travel to any of these countries in order to be legally wedded as a gay couple. One member of the couple must be a resident in order to enjoy the right of gay marriage. (Wockner, 26), These countries are jumping ahead of the United States by leaps and bound on this issue. It seems as if religious activists guide the United States on this issue.

The Catholic Catechism says that homosexuals ” do not choose” their sexual orientation and “deserve to be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. ” It also “declares that homosexual acts are ‘intrinsically disordered’ and that under no circumstances can they be approved”(Billitteri,10). For devout homosexual Catholics, this declaration is both hurtful and devastating. The Catholic Church has told homosexuals that they are malfunctioning and therefore are accepted by the church but only to a point. For these Catholics, marriage is the natural step when one finds a life partner.

However, the Church strictly forbids gay marriages. Therefore, homosexuals cannot complete their relationship according to The Church, despite the rejection from the Catholic Church, there is a grass roots movement to accept homosexuals. Although most clerics do not allow for the validation of same sex relationships, there is still some religious support available. One such type of outreach program is Courage. This organization supports homosexual Catholics but requires complete abstinence. Courage provides spiritual support for gay Catholics whom the Church has turned away.

Other small dioceses actively reach out to homosexuals without the stringent requirement of chastity. These dioceses offer support and compassion for Catholic homosexuals. Sister Jeannine Grammick confounded New Ways ministry to help “promote reconciliation between lesbian and gay Catholics and the Church. ” Grammick says, “Unfortunately, many church leaders seem to reduce lesbian and gay persons to sexual activity and we don’t do that to heterosexual persons. “(Billitteri,14). Along with these few supporters within the Catholic clergy the Vatican also has to consider the public opinion of gay marriage.

According to 1996 Gallup Poll results, “Americans are less opposed to homosexuality in general” and “a third of men age 18 to 29 said… that gay marriages should be legally recognized, and more than half of the women respondents in that age group answered likewise”(Billitteri,14). As we speed into the future, one has to wonder if the Catholic Church will not open its arms at least a little to the gay and lesbian community as the homosexual lifestyle becomes more mainstream. The Catholic Church is not alone in its declaration against gay marriage.

Recently, the Presbyterian Church had to confront the issue within their clergy. “At issue is whether clergy should be barred by the Presbyterian Church (USA) and possibly punished for performing marriage-like ceremonies that celebrate the union of gay partners”(Morris, 1). When performing these ceremonies, the ministers do use the word marriage in the uniting ceremony. This issue has caused a divide between the Synod of the Northeast and the Hudson River Presbytery. The Presbytery allows ministers the option of performing same sex ceremonies.

The Synod disagrees. They feel that marriage is between a man and a woman only. Julius Poppinga, a Presbyterian elder who opposes same sex marriage feels that “by playing a semantic game with the language, you can continue to do what the church says is in violation of (church code). ” Reverend Cliff Frasier, a gay Presbyterian minister, disagrees,” Holy union is a particularly sanctified way of modeling God’s image in our lives. For the church to withdraw its affirmation of that is to abandon and neglect many of God’s children. Morris,2).

It seems that more individuals are recognizing the right to marry for homosexuals. Hopefully, this movement will continue until we reach a solution. Unfortunately, there is more to this battle than just achieving the right to same sex marriages. In 1996, President Clinton signed a bill that would deny federal recognition of homosexual marriages. This bill is also known as the Defense of Marriage Act. This law states that “states (will have)the right not to recognize same sex marriages performed elsewhere. “(Hansen,24).

In California, the Protection of Marriage Committee is lobbying for the Protection of Marriage Initiative. The initiative would state that only “a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. ” This web site says that the committee “understand(s) the difference between respecting a person’s right to same sex relationship and endorsing same sex marriages,” however, “people will continue to have the right to live as they choose but not to remake the definition of marriage for our entire society”(http://doma. org). Homosexuals are not asking to remake a definition.

All we ask for are the same rights and responsibilities granted heterosexual couples”, states Benjamin Cable-McCarthy. Cable-McCarthy is a California resident who, in 1991, united with his partner despite the lack of legal binding. What Cable-McCarthy and other like him ask for is not extreme nor is it abnormal to wish for. However, it will be some time before the United States accepts same sex couples a real, important entity of today’s society. Due to the strong support for those against gay marriages, the believe that allowing for Domestic Partnerships would be the ideal solution to this issue.

Domestic Partnerships would provide same sex couples the opportunity to benefit from all of the same things as heterosexual married couples. This solution would please the opponents because we would not be redefining marriage, as they say. It would also please the supporters because it would offer a legally binding contract similar to a marriage to same sex couples. Hopefully, we will continue to open our minds and recognize that we are all human beings and that is what truly matters.

The Department of Marriage Control and Enforcement

For many people throughout the United States, it is a melancholy but common sight to see broken families, separated children, and squabbling spouses. In a society in which over 20% of marriages end in divorce, it is not surprising that the majority of todays children grow up in a one parent marriage. The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that in 1993, about 1,187,000 divorces were granted in the U. S. , affecting 1,075,000 children. Sadly, some children are even deprived of seeing their mother or father throughout their entire childhood.

Many others are allowed to visit one of their parents only once or twice a month. This lack of family unity results in emotional and psychological problems for both the parents and the children. I think it is agreed by most people that the increasing rate of divorce and the problems related to it are subjects of great concern. In fact, anyone who could devise a plan that would restore family unity and bring meaning to the line till death do you part deserves a medal. Having turned my thoughts to the issue for several years now, I have developed a reasonable solution.

I humbly propose that the government create a new department, The Department of Marriage Control and Enforcement (DMCE). It will be the job of this agency to prevent troubled marriages from occurring in the first place and to eliminate divorces all together. After a couple has recited their vows, the tradition of exchanging wedding rings will be abolished. Instead, a DMCA official will lock a steel ring onto the bride and the groom. The steel rings will symbolize the newly wedded couples commitment to one another and the fact that their future time together has no end.

The DMCA official will then weld a three-foot-long chain to each ring, forcing the couple to remain together at all times. Chaining a couple together will prevent couples from obtaining a divorce because the couples will be chained together for the rest of their life. Since couples will be chained together, they will be forced to think long and hard about marriage before they exchange their vows. Additionally, chaining a couple together will result in increased communication between wives and husbands. Because they will always be together, they will be required to communicate with each other.

No secrets will exist between the two. Also, adultery will be greatly reduced due to the fact that spouses are never separated by more than three feet. But my intention is far from being confined to assisting only the bride and groom. It is very likely that during their marriage a couple will want to have children. Immediately after a child is born, a DMCA official will lock a steel ring around his waist and chain him to the couple. The chain will ensure that the child receives proper the proper attention needed to mature into a healthy individual.

It will also increase family unity and ensure that a parent is involved in the childs life. At the age of 18, or whenever the parent deems fit, a DMCA official will unlock the child from the family chain to start dating and eventually create a new family chain. As for the number of people who decide not to marry, I am not in the least concerned, because every day they are growing older and dying without reproducing. If two individuals have a child out of wedlock, the baby must immediately be adopted by a married couple and chained to their family.

Growing up in a united family will teach the child the virtues of marriage and the child will be more likely to marry than to remain single. Since there will a greater percentage of married couples, they will reproduce at a faster rate than those who decide to remain single. Eventually, the number of singles will become so insignificant that every person will marry someone else in order to avoid discrimination. I have too long digressed and will return to my original subject. There are many obvious advantages to my proposal, all of which will benefit society in one way or another.

Because parents will not be able to divorce one another, the psychological and emotional problems between the two will cease to exist. Additionally, since children will always be close to their parents, they will be less likely to suffer from depression, loyalty conflicts, and a loss of identity. The children will be prevented from participating in troublesome behavior, such as drinking or using drugs, because they will be with their parents at all times. Furthermore, other problems that are normally associated with divorce will be resolved.

Couples will save money since they will no longer have to pay for child support each month. Unnecessary hassles, such as division of property and divorce lawyers fees would cease to exist. Additionally, since courts will no longer have to deal with divorce disputes or child custody disagreements, they could hear other crimes and reduce the amount of time criminals must wait for their trials. Finally, the large demand for steel wedding rings and chains will revive the steel U. S. industry and enable it to compete with foreign steel producers.

I can think of no objection to this proposal, unless it should be that the parents will be unable to work at the same time the child is attending school. Since my proposal only applies to U. S. itizens, I propose that the United States should outsource most of its jobs (as is, I must confess, todays trend) to China where there is an ample labor supply. In the few jobs that are to be left in the United States, the children will accompany the adults to work and learn their parents trade. Most of the parents who have children will accompany their children to school and receive payment for expenses from a certain pool created by working families.

After the child is unchained at age 18, the couple can then resume work, unless they have more than one child. If the reader finds this humble proposal objectionable, let him not talk of other solutions: of requiring marriage preparation classes in order to obtain a marriage license: of making divorces harder to obtain: of offering counseling free of cost to troubled couples: of increasing the costs of divorce so that individuals will have to think harder about pursuing one: lastly, of requiring certain classes to high schoolers that explain the consequences of divorce for both the couple and the children.

Therefore, I repeat, let no man speak to me of these or like expedients until he has some reasonable idea of how to put them into practice. I hereby pronounce that this proposal has been created to promote the well-being and happiness of families everywhere. I have no motive other than the well being of society because I am not married and do not have children.

The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work

In The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work there are seven myths and seven real truths about marriage. The first myth is that neuroses or personality problems will ruin a marriage. The truth about that myth is that we all have our crazy buttons or issues were not totally rational about, but they don’t necessarily interfere with marriage. The key to a happy marriage isn’t having a “normal” personality, but finding someone with whom you get along with. The second myth is that common interests keep you together.

The truth is that it is a plus to have common interests with someone, but is all depends on how you interact with the other person while pursuing those interests. The third myth is the saying “You scratch my back and ….. “. The real truth about this myth is that it is only a truly unhappy marriage where this quid pro quo operates, where each partner feels the need to tally up things the other partner did. Married couples should just do things for one another because it feels positive to them and their spouse. If you keep score in marriage it shows there is an area of tension in your marriage.

Another myth that is shown to us in this book would be that avoiding conflict in a relationship will ruin your marriage. The truth about this myth is that couples simply have different styles of conflict. Some avoid fighting with their spouses at all costs, some couples fight a lot, and some can find a compromise with out ever having to raise their voices. No one of these styles is better for the other it’s just a matter of which style works for both spouses. The fifth myth that is portrayed is that affairs are the root cause of divorce.

The truth is that problems in marriage which send couples on a path to divorce also tends to lead to one or both of the partners resort to an intimate relationship outside of marriage. Eighty percent of divorced men and women said their marriage broke up because they gradually grew apart and lost a sense of closeness, or because they did not feel loved or appreciated. The sixth myth that is talked about is that men are not biologically “built” for marriage. The truth is that among humans the frequency of extramarital affairs does not depend on the gender so much as the opportunity.

Now that so many women work outside the home, the rate of extramarital affairs by women have skyrocketed. The seventh and final myth in The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work is the saying men and women are from different planets. The truth about that saying is that gender differences may contribute to marital problems, but they do not cause them. In this book it tells us of six signs to predict divorce. The first one being harsh start up. When a discussion starts off with criticism or sarcasm it has begun with a harsh start up.

Research shows that if a discussion begins with a harsh start up, it will inevitably end on a negative note. Even if there are attempts to be nice to each other in between if a conflict begins on a bad note it will inevitably end on one too. The second sign to predicting are the four horsemen. The four horsemen are types of negative interactions that couples endure. The four horsemen being criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Criticism adds on some negative words about your mate’s character or personality.

A complaint focuses on a specific behavior, but a criticism ups the ante by throwing in blame and general character assassination. The second horsemen is contempt. Sarcasm and cynicism are types of contempt. Name-calling, eye-rolling, sneering, mockery, and hostile humor are also types of contempt. Contempt is the worst of the four horsemen because it conveys a sort of disgust to your spouse. Contempt is usually fueled by long-simmering negative thoughts about your partner. If differences between spouses are not resolved contempt is usually what spouses are led to.

Inevitably, contempt leads to more conflict rather than resolution The third of the horsemen is defensiveness. Defensiveness is when one partner is being contemptuous or sarcastic the other feels the need to defend themselves. This is called defensiveness. Of course when a spouse is tearing down the other that partner is going to feel the need to defend themselves. The fourth of the horsemen is stonewalling. Stonewalling is when a partner just tunes the other out because of all the arguing and putting down that has occurred. Stonewalling usually occurs later on in the marriage.

The stone-waller acts as though he couldn’t care less about what you’re saying. The third sign to predicting divorce is flooding. Flooding means that your spouse’s negativity is so overwhelming, and so sudden, that it leaves you shell shocked. The spouse feels so defenseless against the attack that they will learn to do anything to avoid a replay. Usually people stonewall as a protection of feeling flooded. The fourth sign to help predict divorce is body language. When couples are being monitored during times of tension, you can see many changes in the physical aspect.

Their heart rate can speed up very fast, sweating, blood pressure can get higher, and also hormonal changes can occur. You could probably tell if the marriage was leading to divorce just by looking at the physical aspects of the partners. The fifth sign are failed repair attempts. Repair attempts are efforts the couples make to deescalate the tension during a touchy situation. Repair attempts help marriages not just because they decrease emotional tension between the spouses, but because by lowering the stress level they also prevent your heart from racing and making you feel flooded.

If there are no repair attempts – or if the attempts are not able to be heard – the marriage is in serious danger. All repair attempts keep a marriage stable because they prevent the four horsemen from moving in for good. The sixth and final sign to help predict is bad memories. Couples who are deeply entrenched in a negative view of their spouse and their marriage often rewrite their past. A marriage will work out for the best, even if criticism and contempt are involved, because couples can just think of the earlier memories and how good they felt early on.

But a way to know if the marriage isn’t going to work is when couples are asked about their past and things get rewritten and all they can think about are the bad times. Bad memories is a sign of predicting divorce because even if couples are going through rocky times they know they will always have their good earlier memories, but if neither of them can even think of any good memories than they’ve all gone bad and the relationship is probably heading to divorce. There are two types of conflict that are portrayed in The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work. One type of problem would be the perpetual problems.

This is when couples argue continually about the same issue. These couples intuitively understand that problems are inevitably part of a relationship, and they get used to them and cope. An example of this would be that one of the spouses wants sex more than the other one does. Another example of a perpetual problem would be that one of them is lazy about their work and rarely ever does their chores. Despite the differences these couples endure with these types of problems the couples stay satisfied with each other because they have found a way to deal with these types of problems so they don’t overwhelm one another.

The second type of problems are the solvable problems. But just because a problem is solvable doesn’t mean it always gets resolved. When a solvable problem causes excessive tension , its because they haven’t learned effective techniques for conquering it. Solvable problems are not easily solved because the techniques they hear about using are usually about being a good listener or learning about your partners perspective. These are not easy things to do when your in times of distress. An example of a perpetual problem is a problem between the personalities of each of the spouses.

These problems go to the core of both of them and even though they may seem to be easily resolved it’s a lot harder than that. It goes deeper into the relationship and are usually problems that discuss how each other reacts to one another during a stressful situation. In The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work there are seven principles that are given to make a marriage work. The first one is to enhance your love maps. A love map is when couples are intimately and socially familiar with each other’s world.

The influences of each others thoughts and feelings are taken into consideration by one another. A love map also includes being involved in each others lives more closely and knowing things like each others distant friends, interests, or dislikes. To be specific a significant other should know how their partner likes their eggs cooked or what to put into their coffee. A second principle for making a marriage work is to nurture your fondness and admiration. Interestingly enough these are the two most crucial elements in a long-lasting and rewarding romance.

If you do not admire your partner or are not fond of their traits it would be impossible to revive their relationship. Consider not being attracted physically or emotionally to your partner, do you think you would want to make a lasting relationship with them? Another principle that should be considered when problems irrevertably arise is to “turn toward each other instead of away. ” In some such cases are when a wife has a terrible nightmare and looks towards the husband for emotional support and he tries to shed some light on the subject.

Or if the husband is having a rough day at work and the wife sits him down and gives him a massage to ease the tension or frustrations. The fourth principle of making a successful marriage is to let your partner influence you in short term as well as long term decisions. A few examples could be as little as what type of tie the husband should wear to work or what the wife would like to be brought home for dinner or as much as whether or not to purchase a pool or redecorate the kitchen.

Solve your solvable problems is the fifth principle and should be considered in strong disagreements that can lead to screaming matches or an angry silence. A common example would be not spending enough time together due to excessive work habits. The two views could be considered equally important to each other and both parties should understand each others points thoroughly, just like putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.

However if their seems to be no hope for a seemingly impossible problem like choosing where to move next or even passing on a religion to their children, this would be considered gridlock. If gridlock occurs principle number six should take effect only after number five is taken quite seriously but if it stills seems impossible to come out of a gridlock you should honestly just try to make the best of it and have respect for each others wishes even if it means to temporarily dispose or yours.

Finally principle number seven which is to create a shared meaning towards each other. This can be viewed in many ways like wear you fit in the family or what influences you, yourself hold towards the agreements made in the marriage. This could be considered your symbolic traits taken into consideration by your significant other like your heritage customs or your vague beliefs of religion.

What is the definition of marriage?

What is marriage? In Websters Dictionary marriage is defined as the institution whereby men and women are joined in special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family. The definition states a man and a woman not a man and a man. Some people believe same gender marriages should be allowed. But right now the law doesnt allow same gender marriages. I guess only time will tell if that law will ever change. Marriage has always been an evolving institution, bent and shaped by the historical moment and the needs and demands of its participants (Johnson 266).

The Romans recognized the phenomenon we call falling in love, but they considered it a hindrance to the establishment of stable households (266). Marriages certified by the state had their foundations not in religion or romance but in pragmatics-e. g. , the joining of socially prominent households (266). At the beginning of the thirteenth century, facing schisms and heresies, and seeking to consolidate its power, the Catholic Church institutionalized marriage, confirming it as a sacrament and requring that a priest officiate-a crucial step in the intrusion of organized religion into what had previously been a private transaction (266).

So instead of just having any person marry a couple you now have to have a priests officiate the couple. This is another issue that makes a marriage more difficult besides the gender issue. To be an official marriage a couple must have a license and the right person to perform the wedding, like a justice of the peace or a priests. Throughout the U. S. same-gender marriages are illegal. The state of Hawaii tried recently to allow these marriages. However, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Defense of Marriage Act. This act undercut Hawaiis effort and made it practically useless.

The Defense of Marriage Act permitted states not to recognize same-gender marriages performed in other states. There is a separation between church and state in this country (Sullivan 260). Andrew Sullivan states we are asking only that when the government gives out civil marriage licenses, those of us who are gay should be treated like anybody else (260). Many people just dont believe marriage should be between two people of the same sex. Throughout history marriage has always been between a man and a woman and thats the way many want to keep it.

Many people believe that gay marriage would cause the American family to break down. Others say they are citizens just like you and me and deserve equal rights. Lisa Bennett poses the issue like this: What the people who have the power to rule on same-sex marriage know of a relationship like mine, I cannot say. I know they claim that our marriage would make a mockery of theirs; they warn that our families would cause the decline of the American family; and they label our love immoral, disgusting, even dangerous.

The shocking thing is that before I knew what it meant to fall in love with a person of the same sex, I might have agreed with them. But now, having been on both sides of the fence. I know that to understand a life that is different from the life lived by most people takes time-and an open mind. Like everybody else I know I want to get married because I was raised to believe that marriage is how we best honor a lifelong relationship. I want to feel the support from the family and society that marriage brings.

And I want people tp know they can not interfere: Love is love, In whatever shape it comes, it deserves respect. Throughout history marriage is believed to be a union between two people. These two people have always been a man and a woman. Not a man and another man, or a woman and another woman. This belief has been challenged in recent years because many people believe its time for a change. They feel that if you are in love the same gender issue should not matter. Its going to take many more years I believe for the laws to change. People in this day and age just are not ready for same gender marriages.

The reasons to engage in marriage

Despite all the fashionable theories of marriage, the narratives and the feminists, the reasons to engage in marriage largely remain the same. True, there have been role reversals and new stereotypes have cropped up. But the biological, physiological and biochemical facts were less amenable to modern criticisms of culture. Men are still men and women are still women in more than one respect. Men and women marry for the same reasons : The Sexual Dyad formed due to sexual attraction and in order to secure a stable, consistent and permanently available source of sexual gratification.

The Economic Dyad To form a functioning economic unit within which the economic activities of the members of the dyad and of additional entrants will be concentrated. The economic unit generates more wealth than it consumes and the synergy between its members is likely to lead to gains in production and in productivity relative to individual efforts and investment. The Social Dyad The members of the couple bond as a result of implicit or explicit, direct, or indirect social pressure. This pressure can manifest itself in numerous forms.

In Judaism, a person cannot belong to some religious vocations, unless he is married. This is economic pressure. In most human societies, avowed bachelors are considered to be socially deviant and abnormal. They are condemned by society, ridiculed, shunned and isolated, effectively ex-communicated. Partly to avoid these sanctions and partly to enjoy the warmth provided by conformity and acceptance, couples marry. Today, a myriad of lifestyles is on offer. The old fashioned, nuclear marriage is one of many variants. Children are reared by single parents. Homosexual couples abound.

But in all this turbulence, a pattern is discernible : almost 95% of the adult population gets married ultimately. They settle into a two-member arrangement, whether formalized and sanctioned religiously or legally or not. The Companionship Dyad Formed by adults in search of sources of long-term and stable support, emotional warmth, empathy, care, good advice and intimacy. The members of these couples tend to define themselves as each other’s best friends. It is folk wisdom to state that the first three types of dyad arrangements suffer from instability.

Sexual attraction wanes and is replaced by sexual attrition in most cases. This could lead to the adoption of non-conventional sexual behaviour patterns (sexual abstinence, group sex, couple swapping, etc. ) or to recurrent marital infidelity. Economics are not sufficient grounds for a lasting relationship, either. In today’s world, both partners are potentially financially independent. This new found autonomy corrodes the old patriarchal-domineering-disciplinarian pattern of relationship. It is replaced by a more balanced, business like, version with children and the couples welfare and life standard as the products.

Marriages based solely on these considerations and motivations are as easy to dismantle and as likely to unravel as is any other business collaboration. Social pressures are a potent maintainer of family cohesiveness and apparent stability. But being enforced from the outside it resembles detention rather than a voluntary arrangement, with the same level of happiness to go with it. Moreover, social norms, peer pressure, social conformity cannot be relied upon to fulfil the roles of stabilizer and shock absorber reliably.

Norms change, peer pressure can adversely influence the survival of the marriage (If all my friends are divorced and apparently content, why shouldn’t I try it, too ? ). It is only the companionship dyad, which appears to be enduring. Friendships deepen with time. While sex deteriorates, economic motives are reversible or voidable, and social norms are fickle companionship, like wine, gets better with time. Even when planted on the most desolate land, under the most difficult and insidious circumstances this obdurate seed sprouts and blossoms.

Matchmaking is done in heaven goes the old Jewish saying but Jewish matchmakers were not averse to lending the divine process a hand. After closely scrutinizing the background of both candidates male and female a marriage was pronounced. In other cultures, marriages were arranged by prospective or actual fathers without asking for the embryos or the toddlers consent. The surprising fact is that arranged marriages last much longer than those, which are, ostensibly, the result of romantic love. Moreover: the longer a couple cohabitates prior to the marriage, the higher the likelihood of divorce.

So, romantic love and cohabitation (getting to know each other better) are negative precursors and predictors of marital longevity, contrary to commonsense. Companionship grows out of friction within a formal arrangement, which is devoid of escape clauses. In marriages where divorce is not an option (due to prohibitive economic or social costs or because of legal impossibility) companionship will grudgingly develop and with it contentment, if not happiness. Companionship is the offspring of pity and empathy and shared events and fears and common suffering and the wish to protect and to shield and habit forming.

Sex is fire companionship is old slippers: comfortable, static, useful, warm, secure. We get attached very quickly and very thoroughly to that with which we are in constant touch. This is a reflex that has to do with survival. We attach to other mothers and have our mothers attach to us. In the absence of social interactions, we die younger. We need to bond and to create dependency in others. The marital cycle is composed of euphorias and dysphorias (which are more of the nature of panic). They are the source of our dynamism in seeking out mates, copulating, coupling (marrying) and reproducing.

The source of these changing moods is to be found in the meaning that we attach to our marriages. They constitute the real, irrevocable, irreversible and serious entry into adult society. Previous rites of passage (like the Jewish Bar Mitzvah, the Christian Communion and more exotic rites elsewhere) prepare us only partially to the shock of realizing that we are about to emulate our parents. During the first years of our lives, we tend to view our parents as omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent demigods (or complete gods). Our perception of them, of ourselves and of the world is magical.

All are entangled, constantly interacting, identity interchanging entities. Our parents are idealized and, then, as we get disillusioned, they are internalized to become the first and most important among the myriad of inner voices that guide our lives. As we grow up (adolescence) we rebel against our parents (in the final phases of identity formation) and then learn to accept them and to resort to them in times of need. But the primordial gods of our infancy never die, nor do they lie dormant. They lurk in our superego, conducting an incessant dialogue with the other structures of our personality.

They constantly criticize and analyse, make suggestions and reproach. The hiss of these voices is the background radiation of our personal big bang. Thus, to get married, is to become gods, to commit sacrilege, to violate the very existence of our mother and father, to defile the inner sanctum of our formative years. This is a rebellion so momentous, so all encompassing, touching upon the very foundation of our personality that we shudder in anticipation of the imminent and, no doubt, horrible punishment that awaits us for being so presumptuous and iconoclastic. This, indeed, is the first dysphoria, which accompanies our mental preparations.

Preparedness is achieved at a cost of great consternation and the activation of a host of primitive defence mechanisms, which lay dormant hitherto. We deny, we regress, we repress, we project to no avail. The battle is waged and it is horrific to behold. Luckily, only its echoes reach our consciousness and only in our dreams does it find a fuller (though more symbol laden) expression. This self-induced panic is the result of a conflict. On the one hand, the person knows that it is absolutely life threatening to remain alone (both biologically and psychologically).

A feeling of urgency emerges which propels the person with a great thrust to find a mate. On the other hand, there is this feeling of impending disaster, that he is doing something wrong, that an act of blasphemy and sacrilege is in the making. Getting married is the most terrifying rite of passage. The reaction is to confine oneself to known territories. The terra cognita of ones neighbourhood, country, language, race, culture, language, background, profession, social stratum, education. The individual defines himself by belonging to these groups. They imbue him with feelings of security and firmness.

It is to them that he applies in his quest to find a mate. There, in the confidence of yore, he seeks to find the security of morrow. Solace can be found in familiar grounds. The panicked person can be calmed and restored among his peers and (mental, economic, social) brethren. No wonder that more than 80% of the marriages take place among members of the same social class, profession, race, creed and breed. True: the chances to come across a mate are bigger within these groups and associations but the more predominant reason is the comfort that it provides. The dysphoria is replaced by an euphoria.

This is the euphoria, which naturally accompanies any triumph in life. Overcoming the panic is such a triumph and not a mean one at that. Subduing the internal tyrants (or guides, depending on the character of the primary objects) of yesteryear qualifies the young adult to become one himself. He cannot become a parent unless and until he eradicates his parents. This is patricide and matricide committed with great trepidation and pain. But the victory is rewarding all the same and it leads to feelings of renewed vigour, new-found optimism, sensations of omnipotence and other traces of magical thinking.

The adult is ready to court his mate, woo her, hypnotize her into being his. He is full of the powers of life, of hormones, of energy. He gushes forth, he resounds with the tintinnabulation’s of a better future, his eyes glint, his speech revives. In short, he is immersed in romantic love. Being a suitor is a full time emotional job. The chances of success are enhanced the more mentally and emotionally available is the youth, the less burdened he is with past unresolved conflicts.

The more successfully resolved the previous, dysphoric phase the more vigorous the ensuing euphoric one and the bigger the chances of mating, generation and reproduction. But our conflicts are never really put to eternal rest. They lie dormant in the waiting. The next anti-climatic dysphoric phase transpires when the attempts to secure (the consent of) a mate are met with success. It is easier and more satisfying to dream. Fighting for a cause is always preferable to the dreariness of materializing it. Mundane routine is the enemy of love and of optimism.

This is where all dreams end and harsh reality intrudes with its uncompromising demands. The assent of the future spouse forces the youth to move forward in a path which grows irreversible and ominous as he progresses. The emotional investment is about to acquire economic and social dimensions. The weight is growing heavier, the commitment deeper, the escape remoter, the end inevitable. The person feels trapped, shackled, threatened. His newfound stability flounders. He staggers along a way of no return leading to what looks like a dead end.

The strength of these negative emotions depends, to a very large extent, on the parental models of the individual and on the kind of family life that he experienced. The worse the earlier (and only) available example the mightier the sense of entrapment and resulting paranoia and backlash. But most people overcome this stage fright and proceed to formalize a relationship. They get married in a religious institution, or in a civil court, or sign a contract, or make their own arrangements. The formality resides in the institutionalization of the relationship not necessarily in the choice of the legal host.

This decision, this leap of faith is the corridor, which leads to the palatial hall of post-nuptial euphoria. This time the euphoria is mostly a social reaction. The new status (just married) bears a cornucopia of social rewards and incentives, some of them enshrined in legislation. Economic benefits, social approval, familial support, the envious reactions of the younger, the expectations and joys of marriage (freely available sex, children, lack of parental or societal control, newly experienced unrestrained and almost unconstrained freedoms).

All these infuse the person with another magical bout of feelings of omnipotence. The control that he exercises over his lebensraum, over his spouse, over his life is translated into a fountain of mental forces emanating from the persons very being. He feels confidence, his self esteem skyrockets, he sets high goals and seriously intends to achieve them. To him, everything is possible, now that he is left to his own devices and is supported by his mate. With luck and the right partner, this frame of mind can last and be prolonged.

However, as lifes disappointments accumulate, obstacles mount, the possible sorted out from the improbable and time inexorably passes the feeling of well being and of willingness to take on the world and its challenges abates. The reserves of energy and determination dwindle. Gradually, the person slides into a dysphoric (even anhedonic or depressed) mood which colours his entire life. The coloration stops at nothing. The routines of his life, their mundane attributes, the contrast between the glamour of our dreams (however realistically construed) and the reality of our day to day existence these erode his previous horizon.

It tends to shrink and imprison him in what looks like a life sentence. He feels suffocated and in his bitterness and agony, in his fear of entrapment, he lashes at his spouse. She represents to him this dead end situation. Had it not been for this new responsibility he would not have let his life atrophy thus. Thoughts of breaking loose, of going back to the parental nest, of revoking the arrangements agreed upon begin to frequent the troubled mind and to intrude upon al planning. Dismantling the existing is a frightening prospect.

Again, panic sets it. Conflict rears its ugly head. Cognitive dissonance abounds. Inner turmoil leads to irresponsible, self-defeating and self-destructive behaviour. A lot of marriages end here. Those that survive do so because of children. In his quest for an outlet, a solution, a release of the bottled tensions, an exit from numbing boredom, from professional inertia and death both members of the couple (providing they still possess the minimal wish to save the marriage) hit upon the same idea but from different directions.

The woman finds it an attractive and efficient way of securing the bonding, fastening the relationship and transforming it into a long-term commitment. Bringing a child to the world is perceived by her to be a double whammy (partly because of social and cultural conditioning during the socialization process). On the one hand, it is in all likelihood the glue to cement the hitherto marriage of fun or of convenience. On the other, it is the ultimate manifestation of her femininity. Children are, therefore, brought to the world as an insurance policy against the disintegration of their parents relationships.

Love and attachment follow later. The male reaction is more compounded. At first, the child is (at least unconsciously) perceived to be an extension of the state of entrapment and stagnation. The man realizes that a child will only drag him deeper into the quagmire. The quicksand characteristics of his life seem to be only amplified by this new entrant. The dysphoria deepens and matures into full-fledged panic. It then subsides and gives way to a sense of awe and wonder. As it increases, it becomes all-pervasive.

A psychedelic feeling of being part parent (to the child) and part child (to his own parents) ensues. The birth of the child and his first stages of development only serve to deepen this odd sensation. Child rearing is a difficult task. It is time and energy consuming. It is emotionally taxing. It denies the parent long obtained achievements and long granted rights (such as privacy or intimacy or self-indulgence or even sleep). It is a full-blown crisis and trauma with potentially the severest consequences. The strain on the relationship of the parents in enormous.

They either completely break down or are revived by the common challenge and hardships. A period of collaboration and reciprocity, of mutual support and increasing love follows. An euphoric phase sets in. Everything else pales besides the little miracle. The child becomes the centre of Narcissistic feelings, of hopes and fears, the heart of an emotional tornado. So much is vested and invested in him and, initially, the child gives so much in return that it blots away the daily problems, tedious procedures, failures, disappointments and aggravations.

But this role of his is temporary. The more autonomous a child becomes, the more knowledgeable, the less innocent the less rewarding, the more frustrating, the sadder the scene, the more dysphoric. The childrens adolescence, the dysfunction of a couple, the members of which grew apart, developed separately and are estranged set the scenery and pave the way to the next major dysphoria: the midlife crisis. This, essentially, is a crisis of reckoning, of inventory taking, a disillusionment, a realization and assimilation of ones mortality.

The person looks back and sees how little he has achieved, how short the time left, how unrealistic his expectations were and are, how alienated he is from his society, his country, his culture, his closest, how ill-equipped he is to cope with all this and how irrelevant and unhelpful is marriage is. To him, it is all a fake, a Potemkin village, a facade behind which rot and corruption have consumed his life and corroded his vitality. This seems to be a last chance to recuperate, to recover lost ground, to strike one more time.

Aided by others youth (a young lover, students, his own children, a young partner or consultant, a start up company) the person tries to recreate his beginnings in a vain effort to make amends, not to commit the same mistakes twice. This crisis is exacerbated by the empty nest syndrome (as children grow up and live the parental home). A major topic of consensus, a catalyst of interaction between the members of the couple thus disappears. The vacuity of the relationship, the gaping hole formed by the termites of a thousand marital discords is revealed.

It is the couples chance to fill it in with empathy and mutual support. Most fail, however. They discover that they lost faith in their powers to rejuvenate each other. They are suffocated by fumes of grudges, regrets and sorrows. They want out into a fresher (younger) atmosphere. And out they go. Those who do remain, revert to accommodation rather than to love, to co-existence rather to experimentation, to arrangements of convenience rather to revival. It is a sad sight to behold. As biological decay sets in, the couple heads into the ultimate dysphoria : ageing and death.

The Sanctity of Marriage

There is so much controversy concerning homosexuality and marriage. This controversy has recently risen and been debated in court in Massachusetts. Around three percent of our country experiences exclusive homosexuality (Swan n. p. ). Gay marriage must be banned because it has negative consequences for our society, does not follow American Tradition, and most importantly, homosexuality is immoral. Granted homosexuality allows people to express themselves individually, they often become public charges. Homosexuality has many consequences for society.

Besides pushing immorality, the gay lifestyle also renders many health problems. Such health problems are Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Hepatitis A, B, and C, and AIDS (Sprigg 8). Various research studies have found that homosexuality causes alcohol abuse, drug abuse, nicotine dependence, depression, and suicide (Sprigg 9). Children with gay parents also suffer a higher risk of premarital childbearing, illicit drug use, arrest, behavioral problems, poverty, and school failure (Sprigg 7). Twenty years ago, homosexuality was perceived as wrong and as an embarrassment. Now, it almost seems to be popular.

Homosexuality is proven to be wrong, but society is becoming immune to it. Our nations laws should not be based on wrong doing. Society depends on cross gender marriages for survival (Grolier 66). Marriage is fundamental to our very existence and survival; the very existence and survival of our society does not depend upon same-sex unions (Grolier 66). Supporters argue that gay marriage is a persons right as an American, but the very traditions of our country have never included homosexuality. Marriage has always been held up in court as a heterosexual union (Grolier 68).

Why should we alter our countrys traditions? In Poe vs. Ullman, Justice Harlin linked sexual activity to marriage to the prohibition of homosexual activity, and concluded that both confinement of sexual activity to marriage and restriction of homosexual behavior were so deeply embedded in the values of the nation that they were both integral to any Constitutional doctrine in this area (Grolier 67). In 1996, Congress created the Defense of Marriage Act against federal protection for homosexuals (Grolier 66). The United States of America has never recognized or approved of homosexuality and will not start now.

There is a theory that people are born with a homosexual gene, but that is no excuse. Homosexuality is very immoral. In Leviticus 18:22, God says, Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable (Holy 131). If this is against Gods law, then why shouldnt it be against American law? Our country was founded on Christianity. Marriage is defined as a heterosexual life-time commitment relationship and a cross-gender union (Grolier 67). Gay marriage advocates argue that same-sex marriage should be legalized because homosexuality is a persons right, and that the banning of that marriage is discrimination.

It is not debatable that homosexuality is immoral. It is also proven to have negative effects on society, and has never been included in Americas history or tradition (Grolier 66). It is incomprehensible why gay marriage should be legalized. If laws are made that approve gay marriage, then what is America coming to? What is next? People may try to marry family members, groups of people, maybe even animals. What would the difference be between that and homosexuality? There is proven evidence that gay marriages would send our country on a never ending downward spiral.