Good Essay On Arguments In The Book
Marriages in society have attracted major concern owing to the many issues that prevail around them. In her book, Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage, Coontz keenly looks into various perspectives regarding marriage which draw from different times, opinions and ideas in order to shed light on what the society makes the marriage institutions look like. The book neatly, entertainingly and quite convincingly deconstructs several most anticipated and determined beliefs to do with bonds tying men and women together. The book is full of quite intriguing stories as well as examples of different eras with regard to marriage. The book clearly tackles the very central questions regarding the meaning of marriage, of course with evidence and not platitudes. Therefore, in this case, we review the book by focusing on the objectives, purpose, and evaluation and answering significant issues as addressed in this book.
In her book, Stephanie wages war on the historical understandings of the family. Her major objective revolves around seeking the answer to the question, “what tradition?” notably, since time immemorial, the marriage institution has been run through many biases which have seen gender differences place burdens on some while defining certain circumstances from the point of the nature of gender, something which has created much unrest. Focusing on her thesis, she aims to address marriage evolution through different eras and the social factors and changes which have significantly impacted the marriage institution over a long period of time. She looks into how generations have been nostalgic in viewing the family. That for instance, in a traditional point of view, the father should work, and the mother should stay at home is a nostalgic notion which needs to be wiped out of the minds of humanity .
Stephanie takes the readers through marital intrigues of the ancient Babylon, citing the torments of the Victorian lovers with the objective of demonstrating that marrying for love is only a recent idea which has not always existed in different eras of marital history (Coontz 20). She pin points that marrying for love would have been quite absurd in the eyes of our ancestors. Ideally, Stephanie purposes to enlighten and thereby bring intelligence, perspective as well as wit in addressing the debates that take place concerning marriage across the globe. To support her points, the author draws from the ancient histories regarding marriage, comparing them within different eras and the recent marital matters in order to address evolution in the marriage institution with regard to the factors that necessitated marriage in different eras. The book notes that when marriage moved into the emotional sphere in the nineteenth century, it indeed suffered as an institution since it began to thrive as a personal relationship . The author purposes to communicate that while in the former eras marriage was purely based on obedience, the turnaround which came in the 19th century led to founding marriage on love rather than the traditionally known ways of staying in a marriage. The author intends to enlighten the readers on the fact that love should be founded on intimacy which should solely be personal rather than mere subjection of individuals to beliefs and societal myths.
Essentially, as evident in the passages across the book, love seems to eventually dominate the “class conflict,” which has indeed been the driving force of history. The book clearly presents the revolution in three distinct phases which have seen the marriage institution move from ladder to ladder. For instance, from the ancient times until 1750, there existed arranged patriarchal marriages. Around mid eighteenth century, the love revolution replaces the former allowing men and women to seek preferred soul mates. Accordingly, this clearly shows a true trend of events in marriage institution. In light of this, the author intents to pass the message that revolutions which have evolved for long period in this institution have led to better provisions and terms in marriage allowing for freedom in choice of spouses, something which brings jubilation, joy and piece among men and women in the society. Then the third phase saw the coming of the deluge, which emerged from the subversive potential of the love revolution which now made the marriage institution more joyful, loving, satisfying and indeed quite optional and brittle. Lifestyle options came about, sweeping away the 1950’s family which saw existence of innate differences between men and women. Therefore, the author seeks to enlighten the society on the fact that marriage has vanished as an institution and it now means love, honor and negotiate. In case of failure of any of these there can always be quick and easy divorce paving way for move to other options.
Arguably, the arguments made in this book do not necessarily satiate the possible demands that the society would have concerning complete understanding of the institution of marriage. Essentially, it is clear that different members of the society will take the arguments on different perspectives. For instance, religious and non-religious members of the society would have different takes on the arguments made. The argument that love, honor and negotiation should rule in marriage and when they lack, divorce becomes the next move would be argued against by religious members of the society who consider marriage as a sacred agreement which should be maintained without the slightest attempt on divorce. This would be based on religious beliefs and teaching of the followers of distinct religions. For instance, Christians would be very conservative since according to their understanding, divorce is not allowed between any two parties who enter into marriage. On the other hand, the non-religious members who have secular ideas would welcome this argument since it provides an opportunity to ensure that they achieve what they desire, whenever.
Nevertheless, the book gives well researched evidences concerning marriage and how it has evolved from the eras of obedience through dependency and then to love. These are crucial factors which should prevail in society since members of the society need space to find happiness, and not remain subjects to beliefs that only demean their freedom . The analysis conducted is clear and well up to date. This is because it touches on the events that have taken course throughout the period of evolution and revolution in marriage institution to address the current state of marriage institution. As such, I have learned from the book that some of the beliefs held by certain communities to day have had their roots since the ancient times. As such, it is important to face the current changes in marriage and adopt a system that would befit all individuals regardless of genders and traditions.
A closer scrutiny of the content and arguments in the book, however, open the need for further investigation into the marriage institution in society. For instance, which phase in the eras of marriage institution provided for stronger and acceptable family? How has the society been affected by the evolution of the marriage institution into what it is today? What have been the consequences of dropping traditions and embracing modern perspectives regarding marriage? Notably, many challenges have come up which have affected matrimony across the globe. The earlier lifelong commitments have been replaced with the possibilities of divorce which of course would not be the enthusiasm of the meters of the society. For a strong and firm society, solidarity is essential which should start right from the family, which is formed through marriage. However, knowledge of the trends in our society is important. Therefore I would recommend others to read the book and understand how the society has changed the marriage institutions. This would give them an opportunity to compare how different eras in the history of marriage institution impacted on society and thereby be able to conclude on how best to handle the marriage institution.
Coontz, Stephanie. Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage.New York: Penguin Books, 2006.