Written by Katja Sasaroga


Comparing endings: "a country wedding" and "a real life"

Throughout the years male-female relationships have followed almost all the same traditional paths. Women get married and are viewed as living “happily ever after” with their husbands. It is often forgotten that maybe these relationships happened only because of an interest or simply as a result of madness and not out of love. Unfortunately, this was frequent in the past but not as of now.

            “Real life” by Alice Murno is a story about three girlfriends where one of them is about to get married. She feels pressure and on the day of her marriage she panics. The author also points out images, how these women were all beautiful before they got married and how that changed. At the end of the story, Dorrie, who just got married and went to Australia with her husband, sends a picture of herself so her friends can see her and how she has changed. She gained weight, her hair is gray and she does not care about her looks anymore. The second woman, Muriel, who always wore expensive clothes and perfumes, is the only one that is not married. She feels pressured and finds herself a husband and she too abandons her preoccupation with her image and becomes a married woman. In conclusion, this story is about how all these women got married because they were lonely and due to social pressure they got married only to be like other women and not to grow old in a lonely house.

The second story that also describes woman and marriage is “A Country Wedding” by Laurie Colwin. This story is different from the first one because it touches the subject of infidelity in male and female relationships. It is more about how women are not sure of their choice and commitment. It also discusses the issue of what is comes after the marriage and the unknown future. Throughout the text Penny, the one that is getting married, repeats that it is “the end of her girlhood”.  She loves the man that she is marrying but this is not how she imagined her wedding day to be when she was young. When the day of her wedding does arrive, she just wants it to be over and not to talk about it much because she feels that it is a whole new beginning. Penny’s friend Freddie, is already married and cheats on her husband, who she says she loves but does not desire. Freddie is the cause of Penny’s weird behavior towards marriage and commitment because she sees how her friend’s infidelity is affecting their marriage.

Both authors of these texts are women and both discussed the same issue, male and female relationships, but in different ways. They tried to break from the ordinary by writing about how some women are confronted with thoughts before getting married. Also, they maybe wanted to prepare some women for marriage or simply tell them that maybe it is not the best thing to do.

The biggest difference when comparing both of these texts and their endings is that in  “Real life” we see the negative result of marriage which is that all these women are now less attractive than they used to be and their focus is more on the family than on theirselves. In “A country wedding” Penny, who is getting married, knows that it is the beginning of something new and end of her freedom but we do not see how her life changes. It remains unknown to the reader and to Penny as well how her life is about to change.