November 14, 2012
The theme of “the provider,” as in the man being the good family provider, is the world standard, and is as old as history. Even with extenuating circumstances when wives are employed, the standard does not change. As parents, we seek this standard for our children in their future lives when they marry. As young people themselves embark on marriage, the standard is either in the foreground or background, but it is always there. During the wedding, all the congregants are measuring the future financial prospects of the bride and groom. During the Great Depression, it was set aside, but not eliminated. In our current era of difficult economic times, it has not become obsolete as a concept of the past. It is always, “What does he do for a living?’ Not, “What does she do for a living?”
What about those men who do not achieve what their wives expect? What about their wives? How do they handle disappointment? And was is the chemistry for those wivcs who are not disappointed?
In the novel running through the 1920’s to the 1960’s, the concept of the provider is examined in four marriages. The reader takes in these variations like refractions in mirrors reflecting on each other. Although, this novel never for a moment leaves its protagonists in their story.