Психология Read the following texts and explain the underlined vocabulary using the English-English dictionary. просмотров - 73
Marriage – Women’s Crucible for Growing Up
Women I talked with almost invariably framed their accounts with marriage. “I became an adult the minute I walked out of my parents’ house: when I got married,” said Miriam, an educational consultant in her middle fifties. Whereas men point to striking out alone in order to become their own person, women hold that joining forces with a mate is the significant event. “I felt then that I could manage my way in the world,” Miriam explained. “I didn’t think I could do it myself, but with my husband, we could, we could manage our way in the world. I was very confident and very secure about that. Together we could do anything we wanted. And we did!”
Whereas the subject of the male statement is apparently that of the female narrative is consistently we. Whereas men emphasize separation, women focus on connection. This condition of connection formed the centerpiece of women’s accounts in my study. They echoed Miriam’s assumption that being an adult means “managing my way in the world” – in tandem with a husband. In undertaking marriage, they did not aspire to solitary independence but to the sort of “joint independence”, one of the women said.
It hardly ever occurred to women in this study that they might end up single – by accident or design. “Getting married is what you were supposed to do,” they said. “It’s what you did.”
The symbolic value marriage holds as the emblem of adult womanhood is so great that some women in this study undertook marriage in a deliberate effort to grow up. Wendy, a thirty-nine-year-old housewife who studied music, recognized as college freshman that she needed to free herself from childhood. Faced with a dilemma about how she might become adult, she reached for the typical female solution: ‘I’d begin my adult life with my marriage, my first marriage,” she said after she’d settled herself on my living-room coach. “It was motivated in part as an effort to grow up. I saw that very consciously. It was intended to finish some growing-up process that I hadn’t done. I saw myself as choosing another family, his values and so on. In a sense who I lived with decided what kind of an adult person I was going to be. I really wanted to get away from home, and going to college wasn’t enough.
Wendy had grown up in a typical middle-class family. She lacked the arrogance bred of privilege; she possessed no particular worldly ambition. She lived with her second husband and their children in an older house not far from mine. She had written about that family, ‘Cleverness and cheerfulness were prized; conformity was a close third”. Apparently Wendy wanted out: her story seemed to reflect a need to shed her family’s conventionality. But she was bound by the limited forms of socially sanctioned attachment in our culture: parent-child bonds and those between husband and wife. Like thousands of other women, she used the one to break the other. But she did not wait till after college, as one might expect, to make the trade and thus enjoy her parents’ blessing. She decided as a college sophomoreto elope.
Wendy realized, even at age nineteen, that what she sought in marriage was an antidote to childhood. And even though the marriage was secret, she achieved her goal: ‘When I got married the first time, secretly. I knew inside that it was different; I knew I’d been let out of childhood.”
Wendy’s marriage is remarkable for its lack of public recognition. Despite the fact that it failed to change her daily life in a single respect – she continued to attend classes, to live in a dorm with a roommate, and to spend vacations with her parents – Wendy saw this marriage as ‘getting away from home”. Since she delayed a formal wedding for a year and a half, Wendy was let out of childhood only in her mind’s eye. The uniqueness of her situation is that there were no social consequences whatever to the marriage; others’ perceptions of her remained entirely unchanged. What did change, however, was Wendy’s perception of herself. So powerful was her decision to marry that she described it as “the action that got out of the house”.
Nearly twenty years later, she still viewed this choice as the act that defined her as something other than a child: ‘I keep coming back to that first decision really, of what I see as a kind of radical, though underground, act to elope. It was a declaration of purpose, a promise I whispered to myself, “Yes, you can make this decision yourself, nobody else is part of it, it is really your own.”
from “The Girl Within” by E. Hannock