The role of matrimonial relationships of individuals is very essential for the comprehensive development of the human community and its progression towards the future generations. Even though the concept of marriage maintains the cultural prominence and traditional values of the societies, conjugal bond between two individuals rely on the intimacy they hold with each other. Hence courtship is an integral part of married life, and when the chemistry between the partners starts fading away, they end the relationship by means of divorce or separation. Art and literature have immensely provided for the discussion of the relevance of courtship in marriages through printed and visual media. The two movies, Gone with the Wind and The War of the Roses depict the two contrasting aspects of creation and breaking down on relationships. These two movies carry a fundamental insight of the sensitive nature of human relationships and the complex threads that carry the heaviness of the personal bonds between two individuals. Taking Gone with the Wind for a conceptual evaluation is meaningful because it provides for the basic interpretation of the process of making relationships and leading them to marriage. On the other hand, The War of the Roses is a movie that investigates and interprets the way relationship breakdown and head for a collateral damage. Such a study of the contrasting sociological elements of marital relationships is important for the readers to make a judicial validation of the aspects of intimacy and matrimony.
Gone with the Wind: The Factor of Courtship
The 1939 movie ‘Gone with the Wind’ is one of the most popular romantic films produced in America. This was film adaptation of the famous Pulitzer Prize winner novel by Margaret Michell. The story is a complex picture of passionate Scarlett O’Hara and her romantic pursuit despite the barriers of matrimonial responsibilities and social perceptions. The story demonstrates the inner lying cultural conflicts of the Southerner whites among the settlers in the Northern American provinces. The film has the dubious distinction of making a number of changes in its structural organization with replacement of the director and the screenplay writer during the course of the production of the movie. Finally, the film hit the screen under the direction of Victor Fleming and screenplay by Sidney Howard. Critiques had mixed response to the theme of the movie; however, it succeeded in bagging a number of Academy Awards besides minting a huge hoard of money in the box office. This film has been serving as a referential material for movie experts as it hold a permanent position in the American Film Institute’s elite list and in the National Film Registry.
The concept of courtship develops in the movie from the time Scarlett O’Hara meets Ashley Wilkes at her family’s plantation residence in Georgia. It was during the breakout of the American Civil War that she meets him. Wilkes was the bridegroom to Melanie Hamilton, his cousin and the engagement was to take place shortly. O’Hara grows attracted to Wilkes but at the same time she knows that Rhett Butler is admiring her. The series of courtships beings when Scarlett tells her heart’s secret to Ashley who refuses her by saying that his choice is Melanie. Rhett remains a silent onlooker of the happenings around Scarlett as she fails to turn down the proposal by Melanie’s younger brother Charles. With Scarlett’s character, the movie intents to show the diverse nature of women in response to their irresistible urge for seeking attention and love. When Charles dies during his term in the Confederate Army, Scarlett faces a lot of social barriers with regards to the mourning. However, she lacked the chemistry with her husband because her soul’s love was Ashley. As a result, she makes a controversial outing with Melanie to the town by breaking the expectations of the elders. This particular act is a point of sharp communication by the protagonist against social barriers.
The manner in which Scarlet persuades Ashley for winning his love amidst the high intensity social and family crises makes a skeptical note of courtship. The lady who is bound to the huge responsibility of taking care of Melanie and the baby keeps her heart vacant for Ashley. Her determination restricts her soul from meeting other men despite all their efforts to entice her. This is the beauty of serious love which makes the soul of a person affiliated to the beloved one. However, some women can use courtship for temporary benefits; that is how she calls Rhett when she wants his help to take Melanie, her newborn baby and Prissy to her home. Rhett’s reaction justifies this belief, because he discontinues his escort and leaver for battle leaving the desperate group to their fate. Scarlett’s brilliant use of courtship is the core concept of the film. She changes her partner at will and feels fresh with each new one while she still keeps her heart’s love for Ashley intact. She dupes her sister’s lover and tries to marry him for his wealth. After Frank’s death, she marries Rhett and continues to trouble him in their married life even after having a child. The ugly side of courtship is that a woman can become dangerously careless about values and make a wild goose chase for love. When a person of Scarlett’s nature realizes the magnitude of the mistakes, it will be too late to even think of reconciliation.
The War of the Roses: Absence of Courtship
Marriages have their own value in the society for the spiritual importance in the lives of people. When married couples fall apart, it not only affects their personal lives but also leaves a concern for the society. Danny DeVito’s The War of the Roses is an American black comedy film based on Warren Adler’s novel which depicts the societal realities around the divorces and settlement of disputes. The movie has an elite list of starring led by Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. The movie tells an inner story in which Oliver Rose and Barbara happen to stay a night together and eventually get married. In the development of the story, Oliver grows successful in his business while Barbara makes home with their two children. The director makes the movie filled with emotional drama that portrays the way things begin to develop cracks in their relationship. Most men fail to balance between their professional life and family roles; and similar was the case of Oliver. This spiritual distance dilutes the chemistry between the partners and the more stressed will be the woman. This movie portrays the crooked use of courtship by women to explore their chances in winning certain objectives. Barbara wants divorce from Oliver while acquiring his mansion, and when the law gets him an option to cling on to his property, she uses her feminine tactics by seducing his lawyer. Douglas and Turner wonderfully characterize the fighting couple with all the effect of reality.
Oliver Rose is one of the many unfortunate husbands in the American societies that fail to focus on their familial responsibilities and eventually fall in trouble. When a man fails to understand the emotional traits of his wife, he starts digging his own pit. However, most husbands are remorseful even though they react abruptly towards unfavorable conditions. The success of a marriage depends on the reciprocity between the partners. Successful partners understand each other’s feelings and maintain the concept of shared responsibility. In order to maintain the spiritual bond in marriages, the couple should engage in open and proper communication. Oliver is a rich man, a future-oriented father, but not a complete husband. The failure to communicate with the partner is the root cause of the beginning of the unrest in the family. The movie depicts the protagonist as a serious and self-centered man who chooses fewer options for negotiating with his wife’s opinions. This kind of nature is a barrier to love between partners, especially when the woman seeks a lot of attention, the avoidance by her husband makes her spiritually far from him. As the movie shows, some women develop scornful reprisal mentality by which they never learn to forgive and let go of the bad feelings about their partner. The movie also focuses on the fact that divorce is a spiritual agreement between the couples rather than a legal solution for the conjugal issues. The absence of courtship can destroy a marriage, because most women like that part of love which they can see from their husband’s interactions with them. The perception that women are more emotionally sensitive reflects when Barbara denies Oliver’s last plea for forgiveness and refuses his love even at the time of her death.
Human societies are significant for the emotional content involved in the relationships between individuals. The most integral part of every relationship is affinity, which builds trust. As a basic instinct, man loves woman and wise versa; and this love has its sustainability when the loving individuals form couples and continue their affiliation with each other. For making a stable and reliable relationship between a male and a female, societies have long identified the importance of the institution of marriage. However, the aspect of courtship has diverse utility from the female perspective as the two movies suggest. In Gone with the Wind, Scarlett uses courtship both as a weapon to seduce men for her convenience and for making her way easy to attain Ashley’s love. The moment she realized that she actually loved Rhett, she had lost everything in her life. Similarly, Oliver fails to maintain the essential communication and courtship with Barbara for which he gets a terrible punishment at the end. Hence it is important to state that courtship is not only a stimulus for making relationships but also an integral part of matrimonial affiliation between two individuals.
The War of the Roses. Danny, DeVito. US, 1989. Film.
Gone with the Wind. Victor, Fleming. US, 1939. Film.