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“Marrying Absurd” is an article written by Joan Didion in 1967, for a magazine called the Saturday Evening Post. Didion portrays exactly how ludicrous the marriage “industry” has become in Las Vegas. The reader is lead to see the cheapness of the Las Vegas industry. Las Vegas has managed to make a mockery of the sanctity of marriage. This city has managed to take something that should be sacred and turn it into nothing more than a monetary convenience.
Didion opens with this statement: “To be married in Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, a bride must swear that she is eighteen or has parental permission and a bridegroom that he is twenty-one or has parental permission.” The author expresses concern about the lack of requirements necessary to be married. It is similar to going to a fast food restaurant’s drive-thru, except, instead of leaving with a burger and fries, you’re leaving with a new spouse. There is no blood testing needed or waiting period. In actuality it takes more proof and time to become a new member at a movie store.
Didion sarcastically goes on to say that “Someone must put up five dollars for the license.” Not only is Didion letting us know the inexpensiveness of the wedding, but her choice of words allow us to feel the impersonal meaning. The words “put up” are an interesting word choice used by the author. Most of the time you hear “put up” placed in sentences like- “I put up X amount of dollars to bail so and so out of jail,” or “I put up X amount of dollars on that football team.” These are risky expenditures, not things that you’d like to purchase. Five dollars isn’t per say a whole lot to risk one way or another.
The author is implying that there is a “cheapness” about Las Vegas weddings, not only in a literal sense but a physical sense also.
A great deal of the Las Vegas wedding business is based on marketing, much like you would experien...
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