Marriage in the time of Eyre

I pronounce you husband and wife” This line has changed lives, publicly announcing a bond between two peoples. Sadly, In this day and age, Those bonds are not held sacred as they once were. The truth of the matter is, half of all marriages end in divorce. But marriage is still a representation of love, no matter how many times said representation ends up severed. But, marriage was not always a representation of love. In fact, the introduction of love into marriage was a moderately recent event, starting around the 18th century, when the Enlightenment thinkers initiated the idea of happiness as the ultimate pursuit of life.

Soon, In the nineteenth century, parental consent was no longer needed for weddings, as the growth of the middle class and the industrial revolution allowed young men to select a spouse and pay for weddings, thus love now entered the idea of marriage. Due to the more open and less constricted concept of marriage, divorces became more commonplace as people wanted complete control over their lives.

Overview of the 19th century. But perhaps The most dramatic change took place in the 1900s when the women’s rights movement took place. Before the women’s rights movement, marriage was like a contract for the women, stating that all the woman’s possessions from before marriage ( and any they may acquire after marriage) now belonged to the groom. Why the women’s rights movement changed marriage and marital views.

The woman’s rights movement was a plethora of things but mainly wanted women to be equal to men, which as you can guess, had profound effects on marriage.

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Now, the changes were not caused by one thing, but I will not go into them now. Another reason marriage was changed forever was the industrial revolution. Suddenly, we needed more, I don’t want to say manpower but don’t know what else to use, to help make the new ovens, trains, electricity, and cotton gins, etc. Because we needed to have more jobs, we had to let women work. Also, people needed an extra income to pay for electricity, and other goods, so women needed to work. But, although this, marriage was still seen as kind of settling down.

In the early 20th century, marriage was mainly the same. However, it ultimately ended up changing due to tue war. I mean world war I and II. The period of time during which the world wars started and ended was filled with uncertainty. People rushed into marriage, which ultimately, changed marriage. It was beginning to evolve into a representation of love, ironically from the fake love. That is a tradition that we keep today. Also, the women’s rights movement led way to gender-neutral marital law, opening up the door to homosexual marriage, such as lesbian and gay marriage. Another thing that shaped marriage was effective contraception. Suddenly, married couples could choose how many kids to have. So, marriage started out as being a sign of settling down and moved to be a representation of love.

Marriage largely stayed the same during this century. However, I would like to point out that i have not included the church in my essay. The church has a view of marriage that, while it could be included in this work, it will not be, simply for time constraints.


In my introduction, I said marriage was supposed to be a sacred bond. I realize now, how that is not completely true. Think of it as eating the food your mom cooks for you, and the food at a buffet. The bonds are sacred because the food is the only food. Marriage has changed drastically since the 19th century, where marriage was seen as a sign of settling down, and now is a sign of love.

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Marriage in the time of Eyre
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