Louis Correa
Professor Figueredo
October 14 th , 2017
Marrying Absurd Analysis
In the story Marrying Absurd by Joan Didion she writes about a trip that she once took to Las Vegas. And she focuses mainly on the chapel industry, as well as how the act of getting married in Las Vegas has seemed to lose all meaning. She writes about the background of wedding ceremonies in Las Vegas, Nevada. The essay begins with a brief history of when weddings became popular in Vegas in the 60s, and how it is now sold as Vegas commodity. In the process of explaining marriage she talks about the age requirements of applicants, and hours available to receive a marriage license, which is available on holidays for an additional charge.
Joan starts off by first describing the reason for the increase in Las Vegas marriages and weddings. Since there was a presidential order that said that August 26, 1965 will be the last day in which a man can improve his draft status by getting married. In Las Vegas, the requirements for marriage are minimal at best. All that is needed is for the bride to swear she is eighteen, the groom to be twenty- one or have parental permission, and five dollars for a license.
Didion writes, " There are nineteen such weddings chapels in Las Vegas, intensely competitive, each offering better, faster, and, by implication, more sincere services than the next" . Much like everything else that she exploited in Las Vegas, the act of marriage with family present and meaning behind it, is expelled from the picture with the achievement of performing a service and collecting some money she as well wrote, " But Las Vegas seems to offer something other than "convenience"; it is merchandising "niceness," the facsimile of proper ritual." Only in Vegas can you not only find marriage 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and have Elvis perform the ceremony. She further explains how the past of a mobster-run Vegas with gambling and prostitution centers, Didion tries to show the reader's how "Absurd" the wedding industry is in Las Vegas has really become. She talks about how the wedding business of Las Vegas operates on the premise of marriage, like craps, is a game to be played when the table seems hot' Today, marriage in Las Vegas relies on its unique cultural environment to provide more than a religious. But to me what really brings meaning to someone is tradition because marriage has a certain tradition to it and throughout the essay Didion illustrates how well all tradition of marriage has seemed to disappear. Tradition to me is like a family or cultural ritual as it's different for every culture but it' s really the same .
To me tradition is like a family or cultural ritual because in every religion or culture they are usually so different but as well it's very similar. It is usually more similar than different. Much like a family gathering no matter how far or long the distance or journey is, family comes home together no matter the circumstances. Tradition as well can mean that everybody expects something to be. Like a bride who wears a red dress instead of white, going against the assumption that the bride is always dressed in white for the wedding. I feel like now a- days with all the crazy stuff people d o create their own traditions, f or a couple of years it was a tradition for me to go to Disney during Christmas time.
This essay that Joan wrote in 1967 which now 40 years later has since been consid ered part of classic literature , it is now inconce ivable to see a future where not so distant from now where marriage in entirety will become an absurdity. Which is one of the ideas that Didion tries to convey in her story. Once made to withhold an order and structure within society and the institutionalized as a rityal through religious ceremonies to make everyone practice it, it is soon seen as an increasingly archaic, sentimental, and purposeless tradition that can be seen as more of a business merger rather