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Joan Didion's Novel "Marrying Absurd": Summary and Analysis

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Joan Didion's Novel "Marrying Absurd": Summary and Analysis  essay

In “Marrying Absurd,” Joan Didion illustrates the experience of getting “married” in Las Vegas as completely meaningless because it has become too simple. Didion claims that this process is pointless because obtaining a marriage license has become more of a business. Didion supports these claims by using a derogatory tone as well as personal anecdotes and irony in her essay. As a result of these and techniques, Didion repeatedly expresses her opinions about the culture of marriage in Las Vegas.

All throughout her essay, Joan Didion incorporates to support her claim that getting “married” in Las Vegas has no purpose whatsoever. Didion’s most effective , which is used continually in her essay, is a derogatory tone which belittles and criticizes different aspects of the wedding industry in Las Vegas. One major issue that Didion finds fault with is what Las Vegas wedding businesses prioritize. For example, while a traditional wedding puts emphasis on the experience of the bride and groom, these “Strip chapels” prioritize convenience and cost, taking anywhere “…from five to three minutes” and “…five dollars for the license” (Didion 156,155). These quotes exemplify Didion’s derogatory tone as she criticizes the wedding industry for being more focused on aspects such as convenience and cost instead of the experience of a couple’s marriage. These quotes also show how simple it is for a couple to obtain a marriage license. Ultimately, through the use of a critical tone, Didion’s main idea, which is that obtaining marriage licenses are pointless because virtually everyone in the world can obtain one, is supported and developed. Another literary device which is used by Didion to support her claim is irony. While Didion’s use of irony throughout the essay is uncommon, when used, it does reiterate her main ideas. On page 156, Joan Didion states “Mr. Brennan did…sixty-six in his office, and charged each couple eight dollars.” This quote exemplifies Didion’s use of irony because in this occasion, a justice is acting as if he is trying to break a record for signing the most marriage licenses in an hour. Furthermore, this quote illustrates the simplicity of getting married. Overall, through the use of irony, a critical tone, and other literary devices, Didion develops her main idea by proving to readers how easy it is to obtain a marriage license.

Although some people may believe that Las Vegas has a perfectly normal wedding industry, I would side with the author and say that it is very bad. While obtaining a marriage license through a Las Vegas business is much cheaper and convenient, I feel as though a marriage shouldn’t have to be cost efficient or take little time. Furthermore, since a marriage is a once in a lifetime type of experience, I believe that it should be planned as a very special event instead of one where you “…lend [your] veil to six others” (Didion 156). I also agree with the author’s main idea because I believe that the process it takes to obtain a marriage license has become too simplified. No matter how perfect this process is, a “five to three minutes” session with a “justice of peace” would lose lots of traditional values and practices that one should include in a marriage (Didion 156). In conclusion, I would agree with the author’s main idea because I believe that a marriage should be a very special event that is thoroughly planned and thought for. While the Las Vegas wedding culture does include some benefits, such as cost and time, it also misses out on some very key traditional practices.

In her satire essay, Joan Didion builds and develops a claim in which she deems marriage licenses in Las Vegas completely meaningless. She also supported her claim with literary techniques and devices like irony, tone, and anecdotes. I believe Didion crafted a well written essay as I was persuaded by her writing to agree with her views.

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Joan Didion’s Novel “Marrying Absurd”: Summary and Analysis. (2019, Jun 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from
“Joan Didion’s Novel “Marrying Absurd”: Summary and Analysis.” GradesFixer, 27 Jun. 2019,
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