Marriage relationships today in comparison to yester years

Marriagerelationships today in comparison to yester years

Modernmarriage relationships are based on love and affection, which compelspartners to agree to a contract to live with one another for the restof their lives. This is the trend in today’s society as opposed tothe marriage relationships in the 19thand early 20thCenturies. In the yester years, marriage was arranged and more so,the society was patriarchal in nature such that men were the dominantculture. During this period, women were accorded traditional role,which were mainly to take care of the home, cook, clean and producechildren for their husbands. This essay will discuss the playTriflesin 1916, the books, “The Story of an Hour” in 1894, and “AuntHetty” in the 1850s relative to marriage relationships commontoday.

AuntHetty on Matrimonyis a book published in 1853. The author Sarah Payton Parton revealswhat life must have been for married couples in the mid-19thCentury. During this period, the notion of love and honeymoons werenot treasured in the society and as Aunt Hetty describes such talksas “a farce” (Fetterley 14). The society then allowed husbands tohave total dominance over everything their wives did and dictatedtheir every deed at home and in the society. As Aunt Hetty provides,matrimony is a humbug husbands are domestic Napoleons, Neroes,Alexanders,-sighing for other hearts to conquer” (Fetterley 16).Men were also quite promiscuous at the time and did not valuemarriage as it is today, me hardly voluntarily took care of thefamily but did so only to ensure they had a meal when they came backhome in the evenings. Somewhere lines describe men effectively, “Hearof him at eleven o`clock, taking an ice-cream with some ladies at aconfectioner`s, while you are at home new-lining his coat-sleeves”(16).

InTheStory of an Hourby Kate Chopin published in 1894, Mrs. Mallard is given the news onthe death of Mr. Mallard, her husband very softly as she is known tohave heart problems (Chopin 9). He had died in a railroad accident.We find out that she is a fairly young woman though marriage lifeseems to have taken a toll on her. As much as she tries to hold buckan eerie feeling in her, she cannot and gasps out the words, “free,free, free,!” (Chopin 9). As much as she has lost he husband, herinner self cannot but appreciate the freedom that comes with being awidow. This implies that the life of a married woman was quite hardcompared to today’s marriage relationships where husband and wifelive for each other. Her friend Josephine fears that Mrs. Mallard haslocked herself to commit suicide probably by taking some potion butthe widow says, “Go away. I am not making myself ill” (Chopin11). Sheis apparently breathing in the fresh air of a free life, free fromthe bonds of marriage.

Inthe playTrifles, women’sparticipation in social events was minimal and more so they were seenonly as being necessary towards procreation (Gainor 19). Otherwise,men would have very much done without marriage in the societydescribed in the play. “Well, can you beat women!” the sheriffshouts at women concerned for another woman (Gainor 19). Violenceagainst women was rife then as compared to today where such instancesare unimaginable. The attorney says, “Not much of a housekeeper,would you say ladies?” while kicking utensils in Mrs. Wright’skitchen (Gainor 21). Men do not value the role of women in the house.

Inthe modern day matrimonial relationships, men and women cherish eachother’s’ company and such this strengthens their relationship. Inthe past, the wife was under the husband’s care and if he cared totreat her ill, the society would be content with that. Today’ssociety has made positive headway in respecting the marriageinstitution as compare to the past with men and women supporting eachother in their matrimonial roles.


Chopin,Kate.TheStory of an Hour: And Other Stories.Portland: Scout Books. 2011. Print

Fetterley,Judith, ed. Provisions:a reader from 19th-century American women.Vol. 349. Indiana University Press, 1985. Print

Gainor,J. Ellen. SusanGlaspell in context: American theater, culture, and politics,1915-48.University of Michigan Press, 2003. Print