Marriage In Mavis Gallant's The Other Paris

1202 Words5 Pages
Before the modern era, marriage in the Western civilization was commonly a form of business to unite houses and prevent future wars, but, as the times changed, marriage became a form of commitment and a pledge between two lovers. A trend in the 1950s veered away from this belief, which resulted in loveless marriages. Mavis Gallant, the author of The Other Paris, uses a mocking tone and detailed character descriptions to criticize the socially required marriages of the 1950s. Gallant creates a mocking tone by contrasting romantic allusion and realistic diction to ridicule the reveal the lack of coordination and love in the marriage proposals. Carol naively envisions her proposal would occur under the “moonlight” sky by “the Seine” River with…show more content…
When Howard proposes to Carol, it did not bother her in the slightest that she “was not in love with him.” Carol is first introduced as a romantic, yet every decision she makes contradicts her early description. Instead of a romantic, she seems to be an opportunist who is well aware of how she is perceived in the public. Since she knows that she must be married to become respectable, she agrees to marry Howard immediately to quickly get herself to her optimal social standing. In order to make the best out of this opportunity to move up the social ranks, she decides to “set about the business of falling in love.” Carol’s mindset is completely distorting how people fall in love. This way of thinking is wrong, since people cannot be forced to fall in love, and it is one of the many problems with these required marriages. The lines between reality, falling in love naturally, and fiction, falling in love because of a romantic setting, are blurred until nearly everyone is deceived. This is exemplified as Carol contemplates the steps of falling in love and decides that “love required only the right conditions” to grow “like a geranium.” The young people in the 1950s that share Carol’s mindset forget that love cannot be forced to grow. It is not a plant that is dependent on the…show more content…
As proven by her writing, marriage that is socially required ends with a confused way of thinking and little to no romance. Marriage should be about the bond between to people who are willing to commit themselves to each other for life and love each other
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