As part of this assignment, I have decided to do a research on modern American marriages and the also the divorce patterns in the American homes today. Having read Wharton`s book, there are several themes that emanate from the reading. The main theme is that of modern American marriage and divorce. I can generally classify this as the theme of family relationship. There are divorce cases in our American homes today and this is part of what made me think of doing a research on this topic.
For instance, Charles Owen, a character who serves as a social analyst observes the fact that, it is “the custom of the country” for a man to slave away to pay for his wife` extravagances without ever telling her anything about the work he does. The custom of the country basically reveals that, there is very little, if any of the shared lives in American marriages. It is true the center of a man`s life remains a customary to his wife, in terms of the world of business and other life affairs (Fletcher, 178).
The center of a person`s life basically defines the social world for that particular person. Wharton`s novel earlier on gives an idea on American marriages after ideally observing that, her friend is about to get divorced since her husband has been a big disappointment to her. Her friend Mabel therefore believes that, Mr. Lipscomb does not necessarily belong to the right set, which means he is not right for marriage.
I believe Mabel can never get over it until she gets rid of her husband.
As I was undertaking the research, my findings showed me that, 40-50 percent of married couples in America divorce in the United States every year. The research further revealed that, there are even higher divorce rates for the subsequent marriages in America (Reader, 815). The probability of woman`s marriage lasting for about a decade is around 68 percent while that of a man lasting for the same period was around 70 percent for the years between 2006 and 2010. This data clearly showed that, men are more likely to stay in marriage than does women (Reader, 8120. Other estimate data shows that, three –quarters of married persons in America would to fifteen years of marriage. Therefore, as Wharton novel implies, both marriage and divorce are very common experiences in American society today. It is also good to note that, separation and divorce are emotionally difficult events; however, it is still possible to have a healthy break up. Wharton observed that, a husband is a means to an end, and when he does not fulfill his function, a smart woman gets rid of him.