Marrying Absurd Summary

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In “Marrying Absurd,” Joan Didion describes the colorful circus of “Dressing Rooms, Flowers, Rings, and Announcements” belonging to “mobsters and call girls” in what was the Las Vegas wedding scene. With this unrealistic and dysfunctional background for her setting, Didion cleverly satirizes the act of marriage. Through her use of juxtaposition, syntax, ironic and comical anecdotes, and with a disparaging tone, Didion argues that the fabricated “expectations” of marriages are manipulated to feed the wedding industry financially and only leaves heartbroken newlyweds. Throughout the piece, Didion juxtaposes ideas, playing with their literal meanings to evoke a comical feeling towards Las Vegas weddings. Didion refers to the 24/hour business …show more content…

Didion paints a picture in a few short sentences describing the barren Las Vegas desert, showing no signs of weddings of any man nor woman, but only some flashing billboards along the highway. Whilst alluding to the environment of the creation of magic in the midst of a barren desert, the anecdote serves a different purpose. The author also hints at the fleeting decision of answering a billboard, much like the quick marriage characteristic of the Las Vegas Strip. Didion’s condescending tone places her above the brides and grooms of absurd weddings. The author differentiates between herself and “real life” with the doubtful and glamorous wedding scene. Her use of quotations signifies the sarcastic feeling behind the details in her anecdotes, as if Didion described a children’s pretend game and not the wedding of an adult. Even after recognizing her generality and noticing “actual wedding parties,” the author judges these weddings on the basis of her own expectations. By exercising her expectations over other brides’ weddings, Didion takes the places of society’s expectations and builds skepticism of the industry

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