A quick search of the New York Times archives pulled up quite a few articles relating to marriage and divorce. The first of the two I’ll share, dated December 9, 1970, discusses the phenomenon of the “20-year slump” in marriages. The article asks, “Why, after enduring 15 or 20 or 25 years, does a marriage dissolve in divorce court?” to which it answers, “In most cases, experts say, because that marriage has been disintegrating for years” (NYT). Company directly illustrates this under-the-surface, slow boil of conflicts and tensions in a marriage, and the complexities of the feelings of attachment and commitment that hold marriages together. 

https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1970/12/09/80498208.html?pageNumber=50

 

 

The second article, from May 14, 1970, relates to divorce and more importantly, remarriage. In 1970, Texas passed a law “requiring a six-month waiting period before divorced persons can remarry” (NYT). Almost six months into the year, the “marriage license business [was] booming” (NYT). I’m not sure I’ve made any clear connections with this second article to Company — I was mainly just amused by this odd law because it reminds me of when you lose too many lives on a game like Candy Crush and need to wait a certain amount of time to refill the lives. I am eager to hear any thoughts! 

https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1970/05/14/80023055.html?pageNumber=16

One Reply to “Divorce and remarriage in 1970 & connections to Company”

  1. I found a New York Times article from Oct. 26th 2018, a few weeks after Company opened, from the Modern Love column that similarly discussed all the emotions associated with divorce. The author, Susan Forray, writes that after her divorce from a feminist, in the sense that he was untroubled by her making more money than he, she suddenly desired to be with a man that valued traditional gender roles, who needed to be responsible for the money, earn more than his partner, etc. This related to Company’s themes of gender roles within marriage as well as Ellie’s description of the complexities of attachment that inevitably arise within a marriage. Despite Forray’s financial independence and self-sufficiency, she found comfort in being ‘protected’ by a man, a sentiment echoed by many of the female characters in Company. Whereas divorce was infrequent enough in 1970 that noting the disintegration of marriages over many years was newsworthy, now we are accustomed to reading accounts of divorce or troubled, long-term marriages. Further, in 1970, a woman wanting to feel the protection of a man was likely not uncommon, but now a reversion back to those gender roles is startling.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/style/modern-love-im-the-man.html

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