Miguel Helft: “A Decent Proposal”
In Miguel Helft’s story “A Decent Proposal,” he talks about an Indian couple (Rajiv Kumar and Vandana) who fell in love due to “contemporary arranged marriage.” Although “arranged marriage” is part of their Indian tradition, they chose to follow a different and more modern path. “Contemporary arranged marriage” and “arranged marriage” widely contrast from one another. In Contemporary arranged marriage, Rajiv explains it as her parents doing the “legwork,” while she is still in “control.” Although parents help their children find their “soul mate,” the children have the “final say.” In arranged marriages, the marriages are planned, while the bride and groom’s guardians have the final say. Contemporary arranged marriages are a much better option, because the parents still have a respected opinion, but the bride and groom still get to have the final decision if they want to marry or not. I disagree with arranged marriages, because love is not guaranteed, the bride and groom have no standpoint, and the relationship could unknowingly end up abusive. Arranged marriages are a poor decision, because the bride and groom may never fall in love. “I had told my family that they should not have married me to him, but they said I was ridiculous.” When a bride and groom never get the chance to become friends or discover one another before marriage, there is a high chance that they may not fall love. People need time to get to know each other, because in the end, they might not be satisfied with whom they are with. When parents make the ultimate decision as to who their children marry, they could potentially be doing their children a disservice. Having a close friendship and romantic relationship before marriage, gives the lovers peace of mind, because they are already in love, and know that they want to be together. “His father asked his mother if she loved him. No, his mother said. I hardly know you.” In Western culture,...
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