Marriage: Not Always a Fairytale Essay

Marriage: Not Always a Fairytale Essay

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“I take you, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.” These traditional wedding vows conjure up images of true love and unfailing commitment. Although this unconditional love is beautiful, it was not always a reality. This fact became evident within literature of the late eighteen hundreds. “The Storm” written by Kate Chopin, “An Adventure in Paris” by Guy De Maupassant, and “The Lady with the Dog” by Anton Chekhov, are all prominent short stories that portrayed dissatisfied women involved in loveless marriages. For these women, lack of fulfillment and the thrill of playing with fire, were the catalysts of their extramarital affairs.

Those who are unfaithful in their marriages equate an affair with thrills and passion. For the women in “An Adventure in Paris”, “The Storm”, and “The Lady with the Dog”, this notion held true. Collectively, these stories portrayed extramarital affairs, both deliberate and unplanned, that were filled with heat and infatuation. In “The Storm”, Calixta had not contemplated having an affair, yet she threw all caution to the wind upon seeing Alcee, her long lost lover. The thought of being intimate with an old flame excited Calixta, and she ultimately gave into Alcee’s temptation. Similarly to Calixta, Anna Sergeyevna of “The Lady with the Dog” was not deliberately searching for a trilling affair, but she definitely did not oppose one. Dmitry Dmitrich Gurov, a charming womanizer, swept Anna off her feet and into bed. “There was an elusive charm in his appearance and disposition which attracted women” (Chekhov 285). This...

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... is absolutely beautiful, but has not always held true. In the late eighteenth century, literature depicted women and men who were very dissatisfied in their marriages. Specifically, “The Storm”, “An Adventure in Paris”, and “The Lady with the Dog” were all famous short stories that portrayed unfaithful women involved in unfulfilling marriages. Although their life stories were different, these women cheated for similar reasons of discontent, and the thrill of a passionate affair. With their literary works, Guy De Maupassant, Anton Chehkov, and Kate Chopin, proved marriages were not always accompanied with devoted spouses, and unfaithfulness was not unheard of.

Works Cited
Chopin, Kate. The Storm. Vol. Pages 95-99. 1898. Print.
Bausch, Richard, and R.V Cassil. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. New York, New York:
Norton, 2006. Print.

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