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Marriage - With A Free Essay Review



A man who says marriage is a 50-50 proposition doesn't understand two things: one woman, two fractions. They say love is strange, a perfect marriage, perhaps even stranger; even James Thurber would agree. Statistics show that marriages have been declining for years and divorce rates have been steadily increasing. With fewer marriages this has given the rise to more non-traditional family formation either by single or un-married couples having babies out of wedlock. It is 2012 and the roles of marriage are not as clearly defined, lines have become blurred, and perhaps marriages still faces many of the same basic problems that it always has but as generations have passed it has given way to new evolving problems, which reflects the time were in and coincidently completely changes the notion about marriage. Many though claim there are rules for a marriage and many of us do in fact have our own secret rules or guidelines of what we think make a successful marriage or a successful relationship. James Thurber writes about such notions in his writings such in My Own Rules for a Happy Marriage; but none the less, the secret of a happy marriage perhaps remains a secret because even after James Thurber gives away all his set of rules, he still writes in the end “let somebody else try to figure out what to do about the running feud in marriage” (467). Though this feud of marriage is real; conflict happens in every marriage, all relationships experience ups and downs perhaps the quote of Marriage is the only war in which you sleep with the enemy isn’t such a far-flung statement. Divorce is a real issue in today’s times, even author James Thurber was married twice, in some case some people re-marry up to 3 or more times now. Though divorce goes against the eyes of traditional marriage though this is idea and notion of the traditional marriage is one of the most deep rooted beliefs across the world and has been sold as the image of what marriage is. James Dobson is a strong proponent of the idea of traditional marriage, though in today’s times this image of what perhaps once was, if in fact ever really truly existed, is far from reality of what life has become. Roles have widely expanded of what is common in marriage, for better or for worse there are new pressure and stress that committed married couples have to face. As divorce rates continue to rise and the proposal marriage seem at an all time low, many Americans still say that they have hopes to form a lasting and happy union with someone, though fewer now believe that this is possible. There are many faults to marriage which can cause divorce, it could be conflict, family values, tradition, sex, infidelity, communication, commitment, or getting married to early; the evolving times of the 21st century has exerted all kinds new of unprecedented pressures and stress which have clashed with the old traditional ideals of courtship which has progressively change the face of marriage.

In the 60’s, the median age to get married for men was 23, and for women it was 20. Fast-forward to 2012 many men are now waiting until they’re about 28 and women are waiting till they’re 26 this could be due to the fear of getting a divorce. In most recent trends couples are waiting longer and longer to get married in which maybe in fact a smarter move. Getting married young perhaps worked in the past but their many problems with getting married young now, statistics show that “60 percent of couples who marry between 20 and 25 are destined for divorce”(Chicagotribune), due to these particular years are some of the most seminal years for young adults. Many individuals are still in limbo throughout these years; either about themselves or because they are barley coming into grips with the real world around them. Young adulthood is a crucial important part of life in which we get most of our experience, knowledge, and wisdom; meaning be prepared to make mistakes. Young couples are at a higher risk for marital problems due to the factor that they are young, and they still haven’t gotten enough life experience. Another trend that is happening among young couples is that they are living together and having children out of wedlock. In which they are in a long-term unmarried relationships and are running a two-parent households but are single, only in the legal sense. This is because people “have high standards when it comes to marriage! We may be less likely to "settle" for an unsatisfying relationship, and more likely to leave a marriage that isn't working” (health.howstuffworks). Another reason these relationship have started to spring up more and more is because modern progressive times, lets us. There are in fact many reasons why people in committed relationships just don't get married. Some women just don't want to be wives no more and would rather be partners. Some individuals have had very horrible experiences with divorce and just don't want to head down that aisle again because fear the risk. The comprehension of marriage and commitment is that it can now existing separately from one another, sometimes going together, and sometimes not. So young couples should be prepared to grow and change together as the world opens up to them and these couples must be ready to openly talk about these changes as they experience them.

Marrying young means learning how to navigate in the financial world, quarrels about money matters, are issue in all marriages but are more provoking to young couples, because financially young couples may not be very sound with their earning especially compared to couples in their thirty’s or forties; who may in fact be more financially well off, so tighter budgets for young couples is not unusual. Friendship strains are not uncommon; connections that perhaps one shared with past old acquaintances might not be the same anymore especially in contrast with those of single friends. Young married couples at times might feel as outsiders with their single friends and may feel like their missing out on the fun of being young and carefree; which can become a big issue and manifest into other issue’s. Other adjustments problems might occur with the individuals themselves being because either one or both partners are immature and can’t take on their new responsibilities because of lack of understanding between partners, and lack of patience in tolerating each other; which ultimately comes with time and maturity. Couples also still may not completely understand their own feelings for one another yet, either blinded or still confused to a degree on how they really feel.

Many issues amongst young couple are that it’s not unusual to see a woman complaining that her young husband spends all their time going out drinking with his friends, or playing video games all night, and never wants to get up to take care of the baby, which for the most part is normal for most guys who are young in their early twenties. The realization of having responsibilities hasn’t yet been soaked in, of having a wife, and having a family because the individual himself might not yet be matured enough to properly handle these responsibilities. Women who get married early in today’s modern times also have a similar common situations now a ‘days: with all her single friends still going out partying, drinking, and going out every weekend, who are living life carefree with no attachments, while she probably stays in and rarely experiences such a life because of marriage, might feel unsatisfied with her life. Perhaps also she might be married to her first love being her first everything but after a quite a bit of time together these outside components of friends and single life that are around everywhere now a day’s might get to her and make her start wondering things like: what else is out there, how are other men in bed, or feeling like she gave up a big part of her life, at the time when she should have been realizing her potential. In which where most cases women end up resenting their husband and even cheating on them because of these factors they face of getting married too young. When getting married young one should be prepared for the relationship dynamics to change but many don’t come to understanding with this realization till after they have gone off the deep and it is too late because they never took heed to the warning of take the plunge and what it really means.

People now a ‘days though treat marriage like it has no more big significance and easy to walk away from like any other normal relationship. “Women no longer need husbands to support them, and men no longer need wives to cook and clean. Since being married is no longer required for survival, it's become optional” (health.discovery). Roles have evolved and become different in today’s society, the expectations of what comes with marriage are higher and since it’s easier for both man and women to walk away so easy because they aren’t so economically dependent of each other, like back in the sixties, it has become easy.“Allen Montgomery Parkman of the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico believes the liberalization of divorce laws coupled with the new earnings power of women created the divorce boom of the 1970s” (Cnbc). Women have taken up many roles being the same as their males counterparts; “they attend college to compete in careers (rather than to find a husband). They are interested in sex. They drink alcohol and do drugs. They are active in competitive sports, including as professionals” (psychologytoday), so both genders are now acting much one and the same. The stay at home wife is a rare thing to see in society; the sole role of a women being a homemaker as an occupation is a thing of the past. Perhaps in our grandparent’s time it was very common for women to assume such roles of homemakers but back then people also got “married out of economic necessity and to have children” (health.howstuffworks). Though in today’s times women have become more independent than ever and many factors of marriage have changed a lot in the last 50 years; In order for a couple to succeed in the 21st century both husband and wife need to be flexible in their roles and be willing to work together at all sorts of tasks; creating a good balance is essential because the perpetuating of these rigid roles of gender, don’t work any now. .

People’s notions about marriage have also evolved and changed very much throughout the years which have created many false pretenses. Pretense like marriage will end your loneliness, marriage is for everyone, romance will always be alive in a good marriage, marriage makes people happy, married couples won't have major problems if they truly love one another, spouse should know the other persons needs without them saying anything, and that conflict means a lack of love, these are all false pretenses of marriage that actually many people have. With nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce people have started to really re-evaluate their relationships because the reality of many matters are that many married people are still very lonely. All relationships experience highs and lows; the everyday problems and challenges of married life can often cloud many individuals’ intimacy and passion because too many people have false impressions about the what it means to be married some being very unrealistic. When being in these low peeks, making a decision to love is an important one, that’s why they say for better or for worse; just know that love is not enough to keep anyone together but love and combination of things like support, tolerance, communication, nurturing, hard work, commitment, realistic expectations, and a sense of humor. Another false notion many couples have is that his or hers spouse will be their single source of happiness, which is lucrative. Personal happiness come from within oneself, marriage is suppose to make one happy but it more off complement type of happiness to each other’s persona; but it can't be the single source for someone’s happiness. There are other things such as one’s own individualistic life and their children. Great couples complement one another; the notion of “we complete one another” is a fairy tale and just a catchy romantic line made up by the film industry, to sound unique and audience to buy in to their movies. There is conflict in every marriage though the best thing to do is to fight fair and for the relationship, and not just to win the dispute.

In James Thurber My own rules for marriage Thurber talks about a aggrieved wife who wants to get revenge on her husband because the husband dragged in some of his dirty greasy instruments he was handling into her part of the household. She then further evens the score by putting a turtle in the bed they sleep. The husband then might retaliate one day by tripping her. This is very hilarious but in fact is not fighting fair. Just because a couple is married doesn't mean y’all instantly get telepathic powers and can read each other’s minds. One has to tell their spouse what their needs are. A good marriage doesn't just happen. It takes nurturing, openness, and commitment. It’s important to know that all relationship aren’t all the same they all have their little differences because each “partner brings a unique package of strengths and weaknesses to the table” (health.howstuffworks), that’s why many couples have different rules and guidelines for their marriage, everybody has them, even if they don’t talk about them. In My own rules for marriage, Thurber discusses his ideas of what was his ten simple rules of marriage are, in which he satirizes most of his ideas. His first rule: is spouse shouldn’t bad mouth each other former partner. Rule number two: men should make honest efforts of learning their wife’s girlfriend’s names. Rule number three: husbands shouldn’t insult their wives in public, rule four: both spouses should refrain from saying, “isn’t that just like a man” (464), or “you know how women are” (464). Rule five: wives should be attentive to their husband when their reading, rule six: husband should remember where things are around the house so they don’t have to rely on their wives, so wives should draw them an illustrated map of the house and where things are, rule seven: a man not paying attention to his wife should not say little affirmative words to her, while talking one might say ok to the wrong thing because he is not listening. Rule eight: just because ones husband stop calling one little cute nicknames and instead starts to call her wife by her real name, she should not worry too much, rule nine: is for a wife to get lost while their husband tries things he not of age to do no more because he’s too old and when she sees him after cheer him up, for his efforts he gave. Rule ten: is for the husband to not dirty up his wife’s personal areas. Many of these rules sound pretty good but are little outdated in today’s times but can still stand figuratively pretty good, they just need some updating. The times though that Thurber lived in though where though very different from modern times. Thurber lived during 1894 through 1961, one needs to know when reading some of his works that these times where different, society had gender rules back then, women had barely got their right to vote due to Nineteenth Amendment being signed in the 1920. The rise of feminism also didn’t start taking off until the early sixties and much of the roles of woman's were generally being at home in which they were excluded from many jobs and professions at the time.

The fact is there were very few divorces back in the 60’s and more people got married and actually stayed together. During weddings vows one thing that is asked for a couple to do is to “take this man or this woman, till death do you part?” But, How many people though actually really think when their getting married does this phrase actually dwells in their thoughts, and how many think sure “I’ll take this person and if it doesn't work, Its fine, I’ll file for divorce and get on with my life.” The enormity of what it means to be married has been cut down through the years. There are no more stigmas anymore when divorcing; it has become way too easy, people even throw parties to celebrate when they get divorced which in fact have started to get popularized. The realization divorce is this notion of, “Its fine, I’ll file for divorce and get on with my life if it doesn’t work.”

They say people learn from their bad experiences, one would think that if one had gotten married once, one would know what to steer away from but this is just not the case. Second Marriages have a “60% to 67% rate of ending in divorce” (divorcerate). Third marriages have “70% to 73% rate of ending in divorce” (divorcerate). James Thurber second marriage actually lasted until his death but subsequently though most people second marriage do not last. Though Thurber came from two parent house hold which was intact and loved so both his parents very much; research though shows that 73% of children of intact families are happily married” (psychpage), while “children of divorced parents, only 60% marry and 40% of them eventually divorce ” (psychpage). Though James Thurber first marriage to Althea Adam, his first wife last only for 15 years from 1922 to 1935, they had one daughter together. Many studies though have shown that the most stressful time in a marriage is after the birth of one’s first child. Though these times of one’s birth of his or hers first child couples might be the most stressed in these time due to these are some of the most stressful of times a couple faces. Though “Couples who have a child together have a slightly decreased risk of divorce compared to couples without children” (health.howstuffworks). His second marriage to Helen Wismar though lasted till his eventual death. Throughout the course of his second marriage, James Thurber dealt with alcoholism and depression in which these factors can easily influence bad marriage problems to come about. Though their many reasons why people get divorced Infidelity, poor communication, change in priorities, lack of commitment, sexual problems, addictions, failed expectations, physical/emotional or sexual abuse, inability to manage or resolve conflict, mental instability, religious belief, financial problem, time problems, and etc the list goes on forever and ever, why people get divorced.

In comparison with James Thurber with James Dobson who is a strong proponent of traditional marriage and one of the most influential figures in the Evangelical Christian movement. James Dobson would probably critic Thurber for divorcing his first wife. Dobson who believes that a husband and wife who are lawfully married, are committed to each other for life and that both husband and wife have biblically-mandated roles. In traditional sense in traditional marriages, divorce is viewed as a very last resort, due to marriage is a sacrament, being sacred institution under God. The ideal notion of Traditional marriages for a long time in the U.S. was that these traditional roles of male and female and unity under God are what represents what marriages are suppose to be. Being that the husband is the bread winner and the mother is the homemaker. These roles made it hard for either party to just walk away from a marriage, because both economically need each other. A man made the money and women took care of the home and raised their young while her husband worked. Separately without one another it would be tremendously hard if a married couple divorced, being in more ways than one hard economically and socially. Social stigmas back then where a bigger proponent, male and female couples couldn’t just move in together unless they were married being viewed as unmoral. James Dobson speaks about such matters and writes about unmarried couple living together and he say’s “First, it is immoral and a violation of God's law. Second, it undermines a relationship and often leads to divorce” (Drjamesdobson). Many things were viewed as immoral or sin against god that modern times just do on a regular basis. There are many people still in today’s times that still have these believe like James Dobson of traditional marriage. Comparing though many of Thurber's representation of couples in his writings to Dobson, one can see that Thurber’s writing come off more modern; the couples Thurber writes about are very irritable temperamental like his aggrieved wife in My Own Ten Rules for a Happy Marriage. They often drink excessively which are main examples of many high strung, sensitive couples that society sees today. The comparison of Thurber and Dobson both gave different description of marriage perhaps in many aspects they would agree and many they would not. Thurber though gave a more realistic notion of what marriages are and writes from humorist point of view.

The perceive notion seems that much of the American public is going towards a direction in which no longer are people bound by traditional family or religious standards. Couples want to experience more before they get married. It’s the idea of having a fun, full life in your 20s, and 30s and where living it up has become the popularized idea while at the same time trying to establish one’s career, and then hopefully after one is well established; perhaps done with college and has a career; one can finally settle down with his or her significant other. These goals of marriage are relatively new though many of the old traditional ideas of what a marriage is suppose to be might still be lingering around but have been have been slowly dissipated by the new modern progressive custom of which have brought many changes to the fore front of dating and marriage which of course has altered the ideals of even divorce. “There are lots of reasons people in committed relationships don't get married now a days. Some women don't want to be wives, and would rather be partners. Some have had horrible experiences with divorce and don't want to risk that again” (health.howstuffworks).And yet there are a lot of unmarried people who are extremely happy. Married couples though still face an array of issues some old many new and they always have, but perhaps more than ever, now in progressive modern times even the dynamics of who and who can and cannot get married are changing. The fact though is that idea of marriage is one that will continue to change, even in today times, the case off marriage is another hot debated issue like should gays given the right to marry legally or perhaps one day by church. In ancient times, many of the first marriages were by capture, not choice. In Medieval Chivalry the rise in the importance of love emerged as a reaction to arranged marriages and many of today's courting rituals are rooted it from it; from buying a woman dinner to opening a door and during the Victorian Era (1837-1901) romantic love became viewed as the primary requirement for marriage. Now couples are texting instead of kissing and talking and communicating and even sexting, not to mention the rise in internet dating, speed dating. Time has progressed and change many factors of marriage with the progression of women’s roles in society and with individuals wanting to experience more out of life before getting married; has caused both male and female want more, combined with the fallacies many have about marriage has made marriage evolve to what it is today and is reason why people are waiting longer to marry subsequently also why, many divorce. Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?

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ESSAY REVIEW

The opening paragraph is long and meandering, and ultimately gives only a vague idea of what the purpose of the essay is. But I think the essay as a whole is a bit disorganized. I’ll try to say a bit about that in a moment, but in an essay with that kind of problem it is especially important to write a clear introduction that tells the reader what the essay aims to achieve.

The second paragraph deals with two distinct topics, the second being introduced with “Another trend etc.” It is preferable to deal with only one topic in a paragraph, and to make the first sentence of each paragraph a “topic sentence”; i.e., one that identifies the topic of the paragraph. Doing that will help you improve the organization of the essay as a whole.

You claim “Young couples are at a higher risk for marital problems due to the factor that they are young, and they still haven’t gotten enough life experience.” That seems like a reasonable argument, but it is important to support such claims with clear reasons. What exactly is the relationship between not having “enough life experience” and being at a “higher risk for marital problems”? Have you not already claimed that all marriages have problems? Might it be, in any case, that the reason young people are more likely to get divorced is that it is easier, in one way or another, go get divorced at a young age?

The third paragraph is more clearly focused on a single topic: the kinds of difficulties faced by young couples. Most of the claims made here seem reasonable but if the claims are based on researched opinion, you should cite your sources, whereas if they are based purely on educated speculation, you should clarify that you are speculating, using phrases like “It may be that...” It is probably reasonable to assume that your claim about the relative financial security of older versus younger couples is common knowledge, however, in which case you would not need to qualify the claim or support it.

Your next paragraph deals with what is more or less a single topic, but you don’t identify that topic in your first sentence, and there is also no transition from the previous paragraph. Transitions also help to make an essay appear more tightly organized than it might otherwise appear. The general topic of the paragraph seems to be the potential problems caused by the incompatibility between the demands of married life and the desire, among the young, to hold on to certain elements of single life. You should put some general statement of that topic in the first sentence. Doing that allows your reader to focus on the central claim being made and quickly to tell the difference between the central claim and supporting evidence. It’s also a good idea to the complete the paragraph with a thought related to the topic of the a paragraph, which is what you do in this paragraph.

You don’t do that in the next paragraph, however. It starts out being about the ease with which people can walk away from marriage, and ends up talking about the need for flexibility in roles. You need to get back to and reinforce the idea that it is easy to walk away from marriage.

In the next paragraph, and in a number of other places in your essay, you turn from describing the possible problems in marriage to giving advice to those who are married or who are considering marriage.

These sudden shifts in tone, where your essay switches from objective analysis to personal marriage counselling are disruptive. I think if you want to give advice of this sort, a clear transition away from the descriptive part of your paper is needed. (E.g, We have seen the problems, but are there any solutions?). You can also specify what you think works in relationships without creating the impression that you are directly advising the reader.

Finally, It’s not clear why your essay pays particular attention to Thurber, and the long summary of his rules serves no useful purpose in the essay, unless you want to actually analyse the different rules. If you divide your essay into two parts, however, devoting the second part to the task of finding solutions, you can then introduce Thurber as providing one set of such solutions. You still don’t need to paraphrase the whole list of rules, but rather should focus on one or two rules about which you have something to say, and then perhaps make a general comment about the dated character of some of the rules (with perhaps another example or two to prove the point). In other words try to integrate your discussion of Thurber more clearly into the project of your own essay.

Best, EJ.

P.S. You need to proofread carefully. Look out for run-ons, comma splices, and of course typos (of which there are many). There are also a number of verb form errors (e.g., “suppose” for “supposed”).
Submitted by: julezx87
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