Dearly Beloved Ponders: Does Marriage Still Matter?

wedding ceremony
Wedding ceremony photo by Katman1972

Anne Morrow Lindbergh described Dearly Beloved as reflections in a fictional frame. The frame is a June wedding in a private New England home attended by family and close friends. The occasion triggers the circle around the bride and groom to ponder the meaning of marriage in modern society.

Dearly Beloved is short enough to read in an evening, but best read a chapter or two at a time. The characters’ interior monologues are designed to trigger similar monologues by readers.

Lindbergh suggests that two people going through very similar circumstances can react very differently because of the attitude and experiences they bring to it.

The bridesmaid and best man look forward to marriage, but with quite different ideas of what a happy marriage would be.

The maiden aunt wonders considers whether she missed anything by not marrying.

The married men and women wonder if their marriages could be happier. One woman chooses divorce, another chooses to remain married. One man ministers to a dying wife because of love, another has affairs to escape the routine of life with a woman who bores him.

After letting readers stand in the shoes of her characters, Lindbergh leaves them to decide for themselves whether marriage still matters.

Dearly Beloved: A Theme and Variations
by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962
202 pages
1962 #2
My grade: B+
© 2012 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I'm passionate about helping people learn through the medium of nonfiction writing. Although I occasionally have an idea of my own, I mostly build education tools by recycling and repurposing other folks' ideas.

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