Discuss and compare these stories from different centuries portray marriage and the relationship between men and women
In this section we ask the question “How is marriage portrayed as a fai??ade and pretence? ” There are huge traces of this in both ‘Teresa’s wedding’ and ‘The Three Sisters’. Mary Stanhope is the chief culprit of this in the first section of ‘The Three Sisters’. She is very much undecided as to whether she wants to marry him or not and yet she states that he is ‘very plain, so plain that I can not bear to look at him’. If this is so and she cannot bear to look at him then why is she thinking about marring him? She should be already decided.
Marriage is supposed to be a truthful bind, but one of the biggest things which show that this proposed marriage is a fai??ade is the frequent references to the threat of what is going to happen if Mary refuses Mr. Watts. Mary says “If refuse him, he has as good as told me that he should offer himself to Sophia. ” If this if this marriage was to be genuine she would not even consider such a thing like that, the only problem should be what will happen if she does not what will happen if she doesn’t accept his hand in marriage.
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In ‘Teresa’s Wedding’ the evidence given to show that the marriage is portrayed as a fai??ade and pretence is the way some people are acting at the lounge bar. As all of the men are drinking at the bar the author states that Mr. Cornish asks ‘two more big ones’ and says that he hopes this will ‘relax matters’. He says this is because they are already nervous and uncomfortable being at the wedding, possibly because they know that this wedding is not meant to be and they know that it is all one huge pretence.
On page three of Teresa’s Wedding there is one scene where the author kind of drops in on one of the characters thoughts, she states how Kitty Roche thinks that she will never marry and be happy, despite the fact that the main character in the play, Teresa, is telling her that one day she will be as ‘happy’ as her. Kitty seems to think because she is asthmatic she will be like certain members of her community, who she thinks will never get married because of the disabilities or probably how she sees it ‘curses’.
She complains that ‘the asthma cause a recurrent skin complaint on her face and hands. And that, that is the other reason as well as the asthma that she will never marry. This is a very bleak look at life of which she is putting forward this will because of the way she has been raised, her background and probably something to do with the historical setting of the story being the 1960’s, she doesn’t realize that looks do not last forever and that it is not the only reason why people get married or love each other. There are a lot of social expectations in these two stories which happen to make the two marriages seem very much like a considerable compromise, even in this day and age.
In ‘The Three Sisters’ there are some social expectations which have somewhat disappeared from these parts of the world. For example though some elder sisters may obviously prefer to be married before a sister much younger gets married, it would not be considered a complete embarrassment for this to happen to someone. However in Mary Stanhope’s case this would be a complete debacle and nightmare to be married after her younger sisters, and she would even consider the whole thing an accomplishment if she was to get married before her two sisters.
This is not an issue something which you get much any more in eastern European societies today. Then there are also her social ‘material’ expectations which are mammoth in comparison with most marriages and really do make this marriage seem like a compromise, mainly to stop Mary’s sisters from marrying before her. Her claims become ridiculous too after a while. There is one huge example of compromise for this marriage when Mary states that “if he will promise to have the Carriage ordered as I like, I will have him if not he may ride in it himself for me.
This shows that Mary is not happy marring Mr. Watts but would compromise if she was given the things that she wants how she wants it such as the Carriage. She then in the next letter also goes further by talking about “diamonds such as never were seen, and Pearls, Rubies, emeralds and Beads out of number” this all further demonstrates a marriage as a compromise, however the ludicrousness of these requests also shows that Mary is very unhappy being married to Mr. Watts and probably wants an excuse to get out the whole matter.
As she really does not believe that Mr. Watts is the man for her. In ‘Teresa’s Wedding’ there are not as many social expectations in this novel as in ‘the Three Sisters’ however there are still some which show how social expectations make the marriage seem like a compromise. One of these social expectations takes us to a scene we have already been to before in a novel, when the author takes us through Kitty Roche’s beliefs about why she will never be married. She talks about her position being the same as Miss.
Levis who she believes will never get married because of her ‘tuberculosis disease’ and nothing else. This shows the social expectations and values which existed in this part of the world in the 1960’s. What also shows this is another comment which is this time passed by Agnes. She also has the wrong idea about marriage and echoes the beliefs of everyone in her society when she talks about it being disgusting who Teresa was marring and at what age she says “Sickens you, she’s only a kid marring a goop like that. She’ll be stuck in this Dump of a town for ever.
This proves that her whole idea of a successful choice of husband for a woman is to find him at a mature age and for him to be very capable and sharp who can get you to bigger places in this world than ‘this dump of a town’. Of course she is referring to her hometown which she obviously does not appreciate and sees marriage to a proficient man as her ticket out. She may also feel that anyone who does not at least make an attempt to achieve this task of choosing a competent man that can take her away, is very stupid and as she described it ‘Sickens you’.