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Patrick Appah Anthony Caison Abby Trocinski


Mr. David Turley
English 1 Honors
2 May 2016
Arranged Love
Is arranged love truly a thing of the past, or is it part of todays world? Im Anthony, Im
Patrick, and Im Abby. Welcome to our show, The Love Doctors, where we will be discussing
the topic of arranged love. As defined by Oxford Dictionaries, arranged love or arranged
marriage is a marriage planned and agreed to by the families or guardians of the bride and
groom, who have little to no say in the matter themselves (Definition of an Arranged Marriage
in English). In some parts of the world today, arranged love is still common. This was very real
for an Indian woman who recently received a phone call from her father, saying, Dont go out
with your friends tonight. Weve made dinner plans for you. When Tania Malik got this call,
she knew exactly what it meant: arranged marriage. According to modern science, a female is at
her prime between the ages of twenty to twenty-four (Vaani). In Tanias culture, this was more
than just a suggestion. Tania was only twenty-four years old when her father decided that she
needed to be married and began searching for a mate that he deemed suitable. Tania thought that
she should be able to make her own decisions. Even though she felt that she didnt need a man
or a marriage, she still respected her parents enough to accept their decision (Malik).
Arranged marriages are also evident in William Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet. In the
1590s, when Romeo and Juliet was written, most marriages were arranged by the parents
(Shakespeare Quartos- Romeo and Juliet). This was in an effort to seek money, power, or social
status. Given the time period and the Montague and Capulet families significant wealth, it can

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be assumed that Romeo and Juliets parents had arranged marriages. Juliets parents sought the
same for their daughter. Because the Capulets wanted wealth and social status for Juliet, they
arranged for her to marry a man named Paris. In this time, it was common for older men to
marry younger women; Paris was probably in his thirties while Juliet was likely only thirteen.
Juliet had decided that she did not want to marry Paris, but her father did not care. Juliets pleas
to avoid the marriage fell on deaf ears. Her father threatened to disown her and leave her
without access to the familys abundance of resources. Past or present, arranged marriages
certainly emphasize parental authority.
Although there are laws against arranged marriage in the United States, many do still occur.
There are some cultures, like Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, where the marriage is not necessarily
forced. However, if the person refuses to marry, they could lose all of their financial and familial
support. Divorce is often not a viable option either, as individuals making this choice could be
disowned by their families. Unfortunately, this can be the case even when the situation is
extreme or dangerous. Fraidy Reiss is an Orthodox Jew who lived in New York at the time of
her arranged marriage. She did not have a positive first impression of the man chosen for her,
but she went along with the marriage because of family pressure. Throughout their eleven-year
marriage, he constantly threatened to kill her. In violent outbursts, he destroyed the furniture
and rammed his fists through the wall. Fraidy attempted to find a rabbi that would help her
divorce him, but none would comply. The last straw came when he kicked the front door down.
She decided she had no choice but to take her children and leave. Even though she had been in
a toxic situation, her family didnt accept her decision and has ceased communication (Bader).
For Fraidy and women like her, arranged marriage is still very real, very relevant, and very
harmful.

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Some families whose cultures value arranged marriage are actually influenced by the United
Statess strong orientation towards individual choice of ones marriage partner. Zohra, an
Afghani whose family relocated to America, has been able to avoid an arranged marriage. Her
parents decided that they were not going to force her to marry as they realized she was
independent and didnt need a husband. Similarly, her aunt chose to wait until she was forty
years old to marry (Bader). This family was able to accept the cultural norms of their new home
regarding these important decisions. One reason this might happen is because these families
could be more immersed into the western culture through their employment, neighborhood, or
faith communities.
In the world today, fifty-five percent of marriages are arranged. Fifteen million girls are
married before the age of eighteen. One in every nine girls in developing countries are forced
into a marriage before they are fifteen (Gaille). These shocking statistics show how relevant
arranged marriages are to our lives today. However, there are also less extreme ways that
remnants of this tradition reveal itself now. Even in cultures where romantic love is valued, most
parents have an influence on their childs choice of a marriage partner. It is a significant event
in western society to introduce the romantic partner to ones parents. Many men even ask for the
fathers permission to have their daughters hand in marriage before proposing. We wanted to
see if teenagers thought that their parents would have an influence on their future marital partner,
so we placed a poll on Twitter that asked Do you think your parents will have a say in who you
marry? Out of the forty people who voted, forty-five percent said yes, and fifty-five percent
said no (Appah). While not the majority, a significant number of students acknowledge that their
parents will have a voice in this important decision. Also, most parents work to instill their own
beliefs and values in their children. In turn, this can impact the type of person that the child is

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looking to eventually marry. Even though these examples do not demonstrate the level of control
exerted by the Capulets or by Fraidys family, they still demonstrate the influence that parents
have on their childrens lives.
Depending on where you look in the world, arranged marriages compare to Romeo and Juliet
differently. In Eastern societies, there are many similarities. As noted earlier, in the situations
depicted in Romeo and Juliet, motives for arranged marriages were usually business related,
social, and monetary. These are still the main reasons today. Also, both then and now, the child
usually has little to no say in the choice of the marriage partner. Finally, as in the time of Romeo
and Juliet, the male is still usually much older than the female. In Western societies, the contrast
is much more apparent. Most marriage partners are chosen based on romantic love, but as
described earlier, the parents still have an influence on who the child marries.
So, is arranged love still a part of our lives today? We have found the answer to be yes. In
parts of the world, parents do continue to dictate their childs choice of marital partner, while in
other societies, they have a more subtle influence. Either way, it is important to realize that
arranged marriage continues as a part of the foundation of current societies. It has a strong
influence on families and social structures all over the world, as well as having a life changing
impact on some individuals.

Works Cited
Appah, Patrick (pa2jr). Do you think your parents will have a say in who you will marry?April
14, 2016, 8:11 PM EST. Tweet.<https://twitter.com/pa2jr>

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Bader, Elanor J. "Arranged Marriage Is a US Issue." Truthout. News Analysis, 20 Apr. 2013.
Web. 26 Apr. 2016. <http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/15845-arranged-marriage-is-a-usissue>.
"Definition of Arranged Marriage in English:." Arranged Marriage: Definition of Arranged
Marriage in Oxford Dictionary (American English) (US). Oxford University Press, n.d.
Web. 25 Apr. 2016.
<http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/arranged-marriage>.
Gaille, Brandon. "25 Shocking Arranged Marriages Statistics." Web log post. Brandon [Gaille]
Marketing Expert and Blogmaster. Brandon Gaille, 7 Nov. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.
<http://brandongaille.com/25-shocking-arranged-marriages-statistics/>.
Shakespeare Quartos- Romeo and Juliet. "Romeo and Juliet." - Shakespeare in Quarto. British
Library, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2016. <http://www.bl.uk/treasures/shakespeare/romeo.html>.
Malik, Tania. "My Amazing Arranged Marriage: I Resisted at First." Salon.. Salon Media Group,
13 Sept. 2014. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.
<http://www.salon.com/2014/09/13/my_amazing_arranged_marriage_i_resisted_at_first/>.
Vaani. "Is 27 the Right Age to Get Married for an Indian Woman?" Quora. N.p., n.d. Web. 25
Apr. 2016. <https://www.quora.com/Is-27-the-right-age-to-get-married-for-an-Indian-woman>.