Analysis Of When Brothers Share A Wife By Melvyn C. Goldstein

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“When Brothers Share a Wife” is a writing piece by Melvyn C. Goldstein. The beginning of the article starts off with Dorje, who is traveling over a 17,000-foot mountain pass to join his two brothers, Pema and Sonam, in a joint marriage to a woman in another village. Dorje, Pema, and Sonam live in Limi which is located in the northwest corner of Nepal. After learning about who the brothers are the article says that the brothers are entering a fraternal polyandry, type of marriage. This type of marriage is “one of the rarest forms of marriage but is not common in Tibetan society, where it has been practiced from time immemorial” (“When Brother Share a Wife”). Fraternal polyandry is where more than one brothers marry a woman together then live …show more content…

Also the article talks about divorce in this kind of society and about if a younger brother wants to leave the marriage. The article then goes into talking about how this marriage is materialistic for this society. Then it goes into Dorje’s reasoning for the marriage along with the wife’s view on the marriage too. Then the article connects to how fraternal polyandry is similar to nineteenth century marriage in England. Even though they are similar, Tibetan “believe that in this way fraternal polyandry reduces risk of fission, monogamous marriage among brother need to necessarily precipitate the division of family estate” (“When Brothers Share a Wife”). Then the article goes into how the author of this article, Melvyn C. Goldstein, asked the Tibetan people on why they marry this way. Some said it makes the family more stable and other said that is keeps conflict from affecting …show more content…

With all the information I learned, I have come to conclusion that Cultural Materialism is what I believe to be the perspective or theory of this culture. Cultural materialism is cultural traits that are based on the resources available to a group. In the article it says that this way of life is materialistic. I believe that it is cultural materialism because the resources that are available to the Tibetan people are animals but there is little agriculture. I order to care for animals someone has to be with them most of the time, which leaves the family alone without a man. Even though the man is out with the animals that family still needs income and everything else. So when brothers marry the same person they are able to take care of many things that would often take longer for a single

In this essay, the author

  • Introduces melvyn c. goldstein's "when brothers share a wife" in which dorje, pema, and sonam marry in limi, nepal. fraternal polyandry is one of the rarest forms of marriage but is not common in tibetan society.
  • Explains that in today's society, kids marry without their parents' consent. the eldest brother does the whole ceremony, while the younger one acts like the second in command.
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