Wini Breines: On "Marriage"

... modern marriage was ideally characterized by companionship, but husbands and wives are far apart in their interests and personalities. In the transformation of the postwar period, the marriage relationship became both more important and more burdened. Often living far from grandparents and other extended family, members of the modern nuclear family had little support or guidance; they had only each other. The social scientists thus portrayed a family under stress.... The father's interests and energies focused on his specialized occupational role, which separated rather than connected him to his wife. Sharing of interests with persons of the opposite sex became difficult, especially as women were so strongly encouraged to develop their femininity.

Given the pressures on the husband to pursue economic success and the power of the values operative in the white-collar world, the man, [social scientist John] Seeley suggested, was not well equipped to meet the new cultural demands on him as husband and father....

The marital relationship had been presented as the link that held the family together, the one enduring human relationship in society, based as it was on growing equality and companionship. But at the same time, the factors separating husbands and wives were shown to be substantial indeed. Seeley, in fact, described men and women as possessing "mutually-opposed value systems" and two distinct cultures, making it difficult to achieve emotional unity or a satisfactory sexual relationship. (37-39)

 From Wini Breines's Young, White, and Miserable


Title Wini Breines: On "Marriage" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Wini Breines Criticism Target Gregory Corso
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 08 Jul 2015
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Young, White, and Miserable: Growing Up Female in the Fifties
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