Week 10: Inventing Modern Marriage

    The Writing Process:

    Discussion questions:

  1. Identify an intriguing person, event or source from two of the assigned chapters in Cott. Write up the following for each one:
    a) Why does it interest you? What more would you like to know about it?
    b) Why does Cott include it in her book? How does it pertain to the arguments she is making in the relevant chapter and in the book as a whole?
  2. Identify two major changes in ideas or policies concerning marriage in America between 1870 and 1970. What does Cott say about when and why these occurred?

Question to write about:

Take a close look at Henry Bruekner's 1855 painting The Marriage of Pocahontas. How does (or doesn't) it fit in with the nineteenth-century debates about marriage we've been discussing over the last several weeks? What kind of reaction do you think the artist hoped to get in 1855? Would audiences have reacted the same way fifty years later?