Freedom And Marriage In Marry Me By Jerry Conant

2936 Words12 Pages
The novel is the drama of inner mental conflict of Jerry Conant who wants to decide which among these two women will make his life the happiest. This quest of hero for an ontological freedom finds him entangled in the mundane domestic relations from which he wants to relieve. He wants to be free from all the social constraints he has due to being married. Marriage has been summarized by Kerry Ahearn for her excellent argument as:
Marriage is enforced by the ceremonial code and notarized by the contractual law, but confirmation of one’s existence requires passion, and passion demands freedom.” (P. 62)
The desired freedom from marriage leads him to the freedom of adultery grounding such a sexual dynamics. Updike explicitly denies the connection between freedom and adultery in Marry Me though the basic question is left unanswered if adultery implies freedom.
The novel is set in Connecticut in the early 1960s, opens with the traditional triangle of love. The traditional struggle of two men for a woman is replaced by the struggle of two women competing for a man.It is the story of Jerry Conant; an incurable romantic man conducts his affair with Sally Mathias, his neighbor Richard Mathias’s wife. He has seen struggling to decide which of two women in his life will make him the happiest. One of the women is his wife Ruth and the other is his married neighbor Sally. An eminent scholar Dr. Hameed Khan commented on this affair as:
Jerry’s romantic affair with Sally epitomizes the
Open Document