The bridge of Madison county
Once I heard a friend said, “temptation is there, when one man and one woman are alone by themselves. ” He was telling me about the issue of having an affair outside marriage. “It is a sin! ” He then went on to his discussion in a workshop about marriage and relationship, which offered by the service of his church. “Only through God, we can avoid temptation, and share our lives with the significant ones, who our Heavenly Father has chosen for us”. Simply, his religion maintains that temptation is the reason for relationship problems.
For instance, if a married woman is attracted to another male, she has to pray and suppress her emotions as the solution to avoid any happening of temptingly affairs. However, suppressing our true feelings is not a resolution to any kind of problems. Nevertheless, is finding true love a sin because the person is already committed to someone in law? An extramarital affair is a relationship between a married person and someone other than the lawful spouse. Certainly, it does not necessarily involve sex. Yet, mostly, we label it as adultery because it is related to sexual intercourse most of the time.
Extramarital affair is considered immoral based on the moral code or religious beliefs in our society. According to the moral code, which our society has regulated, a married person has to remain faithful and loyal to his or her lawful spouse. Moreover, we are entitled to have only one lawful spouse under the institution of marriage. Besides the moral code, religious beliefs also help determining most of the value system in our society. For instance, Christian and Catholic churches maintain to follow the Ten Commandments that mentioned in the Holy Bible.
Within the commandments, there is not only a prohibition of adultery, but a prohibition of coveting the wife or husband of one’s neighbor as well. In today’s world, extramarital affair is an ambiguous issue in our society as we see it or hear about it in our daily lives. For instance, our television sets are either showing it in the afternoon soap operas, or the real live talk shows. Other media such as movies, and literature are also reflecting the issue of extramarital affair in our society. For examples, they are well presented in the novel by Kate Chopin, The Awakening, and the movie, The Bridge of Madison County.
As a society, we are taught that extramarital affairs are immoral. Yet, it may not be immoral as we thought while it actually reveals the suppression in our society. Our moral values teach us to disvalue extramarital affair. However, we need to examine the issue by ourselves because we do not set the moral code, but our society does. Simply, we all know that there are plenty of things that cannot be explained or reasoned such as our nature. Definitely, we do not know why gravity exists on our planet, but not on others. Without an absolute reason, our nature just exists the way as it is.
Similarly, human nature is an element that we carry since birth. Our true emotions and feelings take place naturally that all of us cannot resist. Same as attraction, chemicals do not intentionally create a bonding between two people. They all occurred effortlessly as Francesca, a housewife, met a photographer, Robert, in the movie, The Bridge of Madison County. She would never expected to meet her soul mate after her marriage for almost 20 years. Yet, the attraction between Robert and her just happened naturally and as quick as a lightning.
Through a lot of the early scenes, we could tell that the chemical between them was pondering by the way their eyes met. Meanwhile, she began to admire Robert’s talents and characteristics. It was more obvious when Francesca kept peeking at Robert when he was washing his face outside the house. In here, Robert’s wet body was a seductive symbol for Francesca. She was totally attracted to him. She was struggling to keep her eyes peeking at Robert as she said, “this is ridiculous. ” She even turned away from peeking at him, but her look was tempted to turn to Robert again.
From her behavior, we are unquestionably certain that our true emotions cannot be resisted. That’s why we cannot avoid the attraction of others because our sentiment comes from our nature. Moreover, yielding to our true emotions and feelings is inevitable because they all happen naturally. Similarly, Edna was experiencing her emotions towards her companion, Robert, in The Awakening. “Again she watched his figure pass in and out of the strips of moonlight as he walked away” (Chopin 77). The shine of the alluring moon on Robert’s body was an image of seduction.
We can assume that her sensational desire was unintentionally awakened at that time. Then, Edna finally realized her true feelings for Robert at the time he was leaving her. “Her eyes were brimming with tears” and her emotion was “tearing” her (Chopin 94). Before, she did not notice her sentiment for Robert because he was always being with her. While he was away, Edna’s “soul” was suddenly “awakened” as she started missing Robert (Chopin 156). She noticed her love to Robert and could not help letting her emotions to carry her mind away.
From these experiences of Edna, and Francesca, we can understand that pure emotions and feelings are the nature of humans. They simply happen as the way they are, and they do not necessarily needed reasoning. They can be as simple as the chemicals that bonded with each other when they once touched. People may not acknowledge at the moment when the attraction happens. But soon or later, they will realize because its existence cannot be ignored. In short, true attraction is revealed when our passionate emotions and feelings cannot be suppressed.
However, being the victims of the suppression in society, we are bounded to suppress our emotions. Instantly, little boys are taught not to cry because to do so would be feminine. Similarly, married couples are forced to act according to the appropriate way of our social customs. They are supposed to ignore their true love to others because they are “officially” committed to someone else. Besides the suppression of the moral code in religion and society, married people are also confined by the code of marriage and the family value system. For instance, Edna was suppressed by the code of marriage and gender roles in religion and society.