“Fight or Die”

“We don’t fight.”

“You’ll die then. Fight or die. That’s what people do. They don’t marry.” (94)

This part really stuck out to me as I was reading today’s assignment. One reason is because of the irony of the whole situation: Catherine and Frederic fight constantly (I know they’re written to be kind of playful, but their fights are really cringey and are about the littlest things). The other reason is that it made me think of how marriages went back in that time period if people lived through the war. A majority still married for money and inheritance, not love. A lot of fights are bound to happen in a loveless marriage. Even in a loving marriage, people coming back home from war would most likely be suffering from post-traumatic stress. That probably caused a lot of fights at home, since post-traumatic stress wasn’t supported and soldiers were supposed to act like manly men at all times with their wives. A few years ago, I read The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson (really good book by the way, I highly recommend it), where the main character is struggling to get through her senior year of high school while her veteran father suffers from extreme PTSD after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. That strays from my argument a bit since it’s about a father and daughter and not a married couple, but I thought of it because she and her dad had a lot of fights over the course of the book.

Frederic should’ve listened to Ferguson, but seeing how he’s acted over the course of it so far, I doubt he’s going to care about any of that. I’m interested to see how his relationship with Catherine is going to pan out in the rest of this book (no spoilers, please).