Marriage of Convenience in Literature

Topics: Marriage, Husband, Mail-order bride Pages: 9 (3552 words) Published: May 11, 2012
 As a brief introduction I will hereby explain the role of culture in the definition of marriage (supposing that everybody know what a marriage is ), and what we define as marriage of convenience. Our culture and marriage.

Our culture is a powerful source of information about marriage. Our culture both values and devalues marriage in a variety of ways. The fact that the vast majority of us will marry at some point in time illustrates the value that society places on marriage. At the same time, however, the number of couples who choose to cohabitate as an alternative to marriage has grown dramatically in recent time. In addition, ending a marriage through divorce has been become quite common. Current estimates are that nearly half of all marriages today will eventually end in divorce. Society can also influence our views on what it takes to have a successful marriage. A common belief in our society is “that love conquers all,” ignoring the fact that certain skills are necessary for many couples to sustain a healthy relationship. The high divorce rate today highlights the challenge that many couples face in building a satisfying and enduring marriage. Despite this fact, it is far more difficult to get a driver's license than a marriage license in most states. It has also been observed that couples will often spend thousands of dollars on a wedding, but will spend far less time, money, or effort preparing for their actual marriage. An individual's racial/ethnic culture can also influence the views or values surrounding marriage. Some cultures, for example, put primary emphasis on the marital bond, while other cultures put primary emphasis on the parent-child bond. Different cultures may also vary on the stigma attached to divorce. Racial/ethnic messages about marriage are often intimately intertwined with family and religious rituals or customs. Definition of marriage of convenience.

A marriage of convenience  is a marriage contracted for reasons other than the reasons of relationship, family, or love. Instead, such a marriage is orchestrated for personal gain or some other sort of strategic purpose, such as political marriage or to hide one partner’s homosexuality. Marriage in the 18th century ( Moll Flanders ).

The 18th century is a very significant period in order to analyze how the society at that time dealt with love and marriages. I have chosen Moll Flanders written by Daniel Defoe, because it is a very good example of how women also took advantage of marriage. Here we find a woman that sees marriage as a business, where she can secure a social status, economic stability and companionship. Marriage is universal in all societies and of course it is common to the English Literature. I am going to deal with it now through this novel of the 18thcentury. Taking into account Moll Flanders' life, we can say that she only gets married to gain money to survive. She just married for money, material wealth, social status and companionship. She does not look for the founding of a family or for family ties. When she meets a man, his description is accompanied by his expenses “a gentleman of 1200 a year” and the word “gentleman” is always present. In that sense Moll's husbands are not characterized in depth, but superficially, we do not get much information about them, except for the benefits they would bring to her ( her descriptions in a very “cynic” and rational way remind us as well of the novel Robinson Crusoe, where the main character, just after the shipwrecked, makes a sort of list of what he could collect from the rests of the ship in order to survive, and which are the valuable objects he could collect in order to make some money in the event he would escape from the island ). This is why she gets married so many times during her lifetime. Social values were changing in the 18th century and the writers at this time tried to reflect it in their novels, but without applying it to their real lives. Moll is the main...

Bibliography: - Blake and Hussain, (2003), Immigration, Asylum & Human Rights, Oxford University Press.
- Cohen, Steve, (2003), No One is Illegal, Trentham Books, Stoke on Trent.
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