Meanings of Marriage and Making a Match

In the chapter entitiled “Meanings of Marriage” It seemed to me that, in Sung China, marriage was looked upon as an institution with a huge set of obligations and stipulations associated with it. Certain customs and courtesies were obligatory but not regulated, while others were punishable by law if not adhered to. Furthermore, these rules heavily favored one sex over the other. In this case women were seemingly possessions of the husband after marriage. These ideals are seemingly contrary to the western style of thought of marriage as a matramoneous institution where the only regulated part is the marriage itsself, dissolution in some cases, and the distribution of wealth and possessions in the case of dissolution (divorce).

In “Making a Match” it was interesting to see how important marriage was for the female’s family, in particular, because for them it was deciding on which family to accept and to provide their daughter with a suitable future almost as if the daughter, after marriage, was no longer a part of her parents family. I also found the section regarding age of males and females for marriage interesting and similar across the world, during this time period, for girls to be married off very young, right after puberty, and men to take brides when they were older and more stable in both education and a job.

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