07 May 2010

Day 41: Catching Fire

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.  ISBN: 9780439023498.

I had to rewrite this post, I tried writing it once when I finally got to the public library in Tennessee.  By that point I had been awake for over 12 hours (most of which were spent driving in the rain), and it showed.  So hopefully this post will be a little more, um, coherent and a lot less rambly.

During the first novel, Katniss pretends to be in love with Peeta, the other tribute from her district.  Later we discover that it's genuine on Peeta's part.  Katniss continues the charade until the Games are over because it gains her sponsors (people who would send needed supplies into the arena).  Because she and Peeta become national celebrities, they have to pretend to be in love again anytime there is a new Games.  I'd give you more details as to why, but that would give away more plot than I'm willing to; besides, this isn't a review.

Of course, Peeta and Katniss's relationship makes me wonder under what circumstances would I be willing to feign love or romantic/sexual interest in someone.  We'll go ahead and assume that in order to save my life I would be willing to play the part, but there are so many other circumstances where a relationship could put you into a better situation than you're currently in.

In my case, I think I would be willing to marry someone for financial comfort/luxury (this is assuming that I hadn't met my fiance yet, etc., etc.).  I am not going to lie to you or myself: if I could still maintain some level of freedom and individuality, I would be okay with marrying someone I was not in love with.  Now, I would have to find them at least reasonably interesting and be capable of maintaining a conversation with them, but as far as everything else goes it wouldn't really matter to me.  I would still have a life outside of the marriage, and giving up on the possibility of love isn't really a new idea for me.

Maybe this sounds cruel, and a little bit gold-diggerish, but it's actually a more traditional sense of marriage, except there's no male hand in it besides the one I theoretically choose.  Ultimately, marriage is a contract between two consenting adults to live their lives together and share their households.  If both parties profit, one receiving financial comfort and the other receiving physical affection, sexual satisfaction, and companionship, I don't actually see anything morally wrong with this.  Ideally, both parties would be aware of what the other party is about and gracefully step down if and when the opportunity for real love shows up, but in the end what real business is it if someone does marry for financial comfort?  There are so many reasons to be in a relationship, I can certainly think of worse reasons to marry someone.

Having said that, I do think there at least needs to be a level of compassion and comraderie.  I would never marry someone I hated; hell, I avoid spending even five minutes with people I hate.  Life is too short for that.  But there have been men, and even women, in my life whose company I've enjoyed enough that if they told me they wanted to take care of me for the rest of my life and all I had to do was marry them, I would be lying if I said I wouldn't at least think about it.

Whoops, I hit publish too early.  Feel free to ignore this one if it showed up on your readers twice.

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