The Two Sides Of Marriage In The Wedlock By Benjamin Franklin

1123 words - 5 pages

Being married can be the highlight of some people’s lives, and it can be a very regrettable experience to others. For most people, being married means one of two things: either being stuck with one person for the rest of ones life, or getting to be with only one person for the rest of ones life. In Benjamin Franklin’s poem “Wedlock” he expresses the idea while one is married, to have pleasure with, to make the best of ones wife and not stab her in the back because most men only get one wife in a lifetime. Also that one must be absolutely sure before making such a big decision in life like marriage because once it is done, it’s results can be very rewarding, or very consequential. The last notion Franklin leaves with us from the poem is that a situation can be much improved simply by looking at it with a better perspective.
Franklin uses a very interesting title in “Wedlock” that, in a way, sums up the poem very nicely. Wedlock is obviously a combination of the two words wedding and lock and he chooses them because Franklin wants to create the image that marriage is similar to a prison, in which the man is locked in by his women and not able to do as he pleases. The first sentence starts out with “Wedlock, as old men note” (line 1), this indicates that this poem is written with much experience in the matter of marriage. Whether a man who has grown old has regrets about marriage or not they are much wiser because of it. Of course not all men regret their marriage and that is the true beauty of this poem is that there are two perspectives, two paths, within the same poem. These two paths are the two potential results of marriage, a blissful one and a miserable one. Of course there are many in between but marriages tend to lean one of these two ways.
These two paths are mainly expressed here in lines 3-4 “Where those that are without would fain get in, /And those that are within, would fain get out.” In saying this Franklin suggests that there is an endless cycle occurring in which younger men do not heed the older, more experienced men’s advice and they do not realize it until it’s too late. Now knowing the fault of their ways they go on to warn younger men and the cycle starts over again. This also goes back to point of view and perspective because it is proven through human instinct that a person almost always wants what he or she does not have. This instinct is the verification behind the saying: “the grass is always greener”. Franklin is suggesting that the grass is greener only if one looks at it in that perspective. Franklin is saying that from the perspective of the married man, he is locked in and would like to get out, but from the perspective of an unmarried man, he waits impatiently to get in. These two men are looking at the exact same thing, why do they have completely opposite views? It is because of their perspective. Not all married men desire to be free from marriage but the ones that do, the ones that are not happy with their...

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