Essay about The Radical Idea Of Marrying For Love

Essay about The Radical Idea Of Marrying For Love

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In the article “The Radical Idea of Marrying for Love” the author, Stephanie Coontz, talks about how love has rarely been the motivating reason for marriage, and how in many cultures it still isn’t. She also informs readers of the reasons why people got married in ancient cultures, different types of motivations for marriage in modern cultures, how the union between spouses often isn’t the most important relationship in other countries, and how marriage is often not monogamous.
The first topic that the author focused on was love and marriage in the ancient times. Ancient India viewed falling in love before getting married to be an antisocial act. Greeks believed that love was a symptom of insanity. During the Middle Ages, the French also thought that love was a symptom of insanity and believed that engaging in sexual intercourse could cure it. The Chinese thought that one’s relationships with their extended family would be put in jeopardy if there was excessive love between himself and his spouse. They would often go as far as to take the wife of their son back to her parents.
Along with the odd opinions about love, adultery was often idealized in Europe during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. During this time in France, a chaplain wrote a treatise stating that, “marriage is no real excuse for not loving.” When he said this he meant that it was no excuse to not commit adultery. Another Frenchman said that any man who was so deeply in love with this wife would be too boring for anyone else to love. Many ancient cultures thought that the public display of affection was unseemly between spouses. A Roman was even expelled from his senate seat because of it.
Coontz goes on to talk about the different reasons ...

... middle of paper ... and the son was much stronger than the husband and wife’s. Chinese culture also dictated that the loyalty to one’s parents is paramount.
Coontz also went into detail about the unimportance of sexual loyalty in many cultures. The expectation of fidelity is a modern concept. When a woman has sex with another man who is not her husband it is called “wife loaning.” It is called “male privilege when a man does it. Young married women in the Dogon of West Africa can take many partners, and their mothers even approve of this. Some Eskimos in northern Alaska engage in co marriages with other couples.
The modern Western idea of marrying for love is unique, and Coontz explains this thoroughly throughout her article.
The author presented many different philosophies on love and marriage. The radical idea of marrying for love was, and still is, very unique.

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