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Money, Death and Marriage - Essay Example

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This essay discusses that there are many contrasts that Mead and Mitford imply regarding the marriage and funeral industries that America should be aware of because the traditional views of marriage and death are slowly changing into the modern vision of America…
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Money, Death and Marriage
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"Money, Death and Marriage"

Download file to see previous pages Just like Mead, Mitford also talks about how a funeral should not be a form of stress; instead, it should be a good last farewell to the dead person; however, in the current American society, having a funeral is also a stressful event because not many people can pay nine thousand dollars to say their goodbyes. There are many contrasts that Mead and Mitford imply regarding the marriage and funeral industries that America should be aware of because the traditional views of marriage and death are slowly changing into the modern vision of America. The two books The American Way of Death and One Perfect Day are both non-fiction books that illustrate a growing everyday issue in America. The two books not only involve personal opinion and views, but it always portrays a variety of statistics regarding costs and facts. Because the books are not fiction, they seem more relatable to the people who have already once experienced planning a funeral or wedding, or a good guide for those to be planning one soon. In One Perfect Day, Mead implies that more than love and religious views, marriage, and death are being forced around the idea of money and status. Mead also talks about how people are paying more and more for marriage because they want to show personal style and a status symbol more than simply expressing the love for each other. The cost of having a wedding constantly rises each year and “according to a 2006 study, Americans were spending $14 billion annually on engagement rings, wedding rings, and other items of jewelry.” (Mead 24) This amount does not include the dresses, tuxedos, cars, and etc. However, Americans are enthusiastic about the rising cost of having a wedding, and they let themselves get taken advantage of by expensive wedding planners and dresses. However, when contrasting “The American Way of Death,” and “One Perfect Day,” business-wise, we come across a similarity which is the cost. In The American Way of Death, Mitford talks about how “the focus of the buyer’s interest must be the casket, vault, clothing, funeral cars, etc. – the only tangible evidence of how much has been invested in the funeral- the only real status symbol associated with a funeral service.” (Mitford 20) This statement means that the salesmen and everyone involved in putting a funeral together are taking advantage of the customers because they realize that the casket is a mandatory item of a funeral. A funeral is not an occasion for a display of cheapness. It is, in fact, an opportunity for the display of a status symbol which by bolstering family pride does much to assuage grief. A funeral is also an occasion when feelings of guilt and remorse are satisfied to a large extent by the purchase of a fine funeral. It seems highly probable that the most satisfactory funeral service for the average family is one in which the cost has necessitated some degree of sacrifice.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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