Marriage and Family in Updike's Stories

Essay by bu-shhabHigh School, 10th gradeA-, June 2002

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A new problem had arisen in the twentieth century. Divorces between couples were occurring more than ever, and divorce had become the main concern in the twentieth century. John Updike became interested in this topic and began to write on this topic. He became one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. He has written some of the greatest stories, but all his stories have one thing in common. All of Updike's stories' themes are about family relationships, marriage, and divorce. This topic appears clearly in his three short stores Son, Still of Some Use, and The Lovely Troubled Women of our Old Crowd.

One of the main causes of family problems, resulting in divorces, is the disability of parents to compromise. Most of the time, parents disagree on something and the problem grows until dislike is created, resulting in a divorce. The parents usually divorce without thinking about the consequences of the divorce.

And some of the consequences could be very harsh that parents would regret divorcing. One of the million consequences concerns children. Children are very sensitive and could be greatly affected by an act like divorce. One of the ways children could be affected by divorce is that the children won't marry, frightened that they would make the same mistake their parents did. This is shown in Updike's story The Lovely Troubled Women of our Old Crowd. In the story, the four girls Annie, Betsy, Jennifer, and Mary are in their mid twenties, and till now they are not married and don't think about getting married, as Updike said in his story,

Why don't they get married? You see them around town, getting older, little spinsters, pedaling bicycles to their pretty jobs or walking up the hill beside the rocks with books in their arms.