The Radical Idea of Marrying for Love Essay

855 Words Jul 8th, 2012 4 Pages
Running Head: The Radical Idea of Marrying for Love

Summary of: The Radical Idea of Marrying for Love
English 1102
Mrs. Charleston
February 3, 2011

In “The Radical Idea of Marrying for Love.” Stephanie Coontz describes marriage as an “institution that brings together two people.” she shares the point that “marriage should be based on intense, profound love and a couple should maintain their ardor until death do them part” (p. 378).
Coontz talks about the history behind marriage. People chose their partners based on “something as fragile and irrational as love” before they focus on their sexual, intimate, and altruistic desires. (p.378) Coontz points out that may cultures view marriage differently. Some cultures thought that
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About two centuries ago a new standard to the way marriage should be viewed came about. This set higher expectations for marriage. This change made more strict divorce laws, in turn made it harder to end a good marriage, it gave individuals more freedom to refuse a spouse. “The husband became the family’s economic motor, and the wife its sentimental core.” (p. 385) By the late eighteenth century marriage became a private contract between a husband and wife and was not regulated by church or state. However many working-class families did not adopt the new norms until the twentieth century. Different culture and countries still argued their views, many changed their description of an ideal mate.
Before material reform of woman’s rights, skeptics warned “that making love and companionship the core of marriage would open a Pandora’s box.” (p. 387) This change caused many questions to arise, would a husband still financially support his family. A writer in the England’s Lady Magazine stated that, the purpose of marriage was to get people to “discharge the duties of civil society, to govern families with prudence and to educate their children with discretions.” It took another hundred years for individuals to overcome fears of other cultures views of how marriage should be. In turn this gave a higher stability of how marriages should be viewed.
In my opinion for the Radical