Analysis of 'The More the Merrier' by Stanley Kauffmann

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Stanley Kauffmann 's play "The More the Merrier" begins with the two main characters Emily Stringer and Raphael Thumbs professing their love to each other and agreeing to marry. They were so enamored to one another that Raphael wanted the wedding to take place immediately that night or the following day but to which Emily countered because it was so soon. She still had to shop for a trousseau and the banns (declarations made in church) that take three weeks to complete. Raphael then expressed his desire to begin a new life "cut off from everyone else" to which Emily agreed. It was only when he uttered his yearning to "cut loose from the past" that Emily began to question what it was that he wanted to cut loose from. After confirming that…show more content…
However, with Simon 's entrance and his similar manifestation of such escapist tendencies and, with the appearance of Vesta, the reader begins to make assumption that this was no longer an isolated case but an endemic disease of irrationality circulating in the area. With the exception of Emily who appeared to be pretty rational in most instances, all of the three characters were deeply engrossed in their obsession to break free from their past lives.

What the playwright is trying to say to his audience is that while marriage indeed marks the start of a new life for the couple, it is only so insofar as the couple starts living together and having a family of their own. It does not mean living a secluded life. On the contrary, marriage necessarily entails extending your relationship not only to your spouse but also to his or her family, relatives and friends. This is what marriage as a union of two souls is all about. This is further reiterated by Emily 's retort to Simon when she said, " the chains of our lives are linked and cross-linked." What Emily meant when she uttered the phrase "chewing gum in the hair" was simply the difficulty in disassociating ourselves with others. The fact that the characters in the play mistook marriage as a portal to a new life and an escape from the old was nothing short of comical to a contemporary reader who has been exposed to all
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