The marriage and sexual politics in this book continue to be very oddly soap-operalike and filmic to me. Or at least, the characters want their sex lives/marriages to be like a film.
Remember the part we discussed in class about Nick confronting Marian about her closeness with Brian? He wished he'd stood at the door so he could say something ominous about the potential affair and then walk away.... as if he wanted to make their marriage to play out like a drama. Nick wants to perfect the theatrics of domestic life.
Well it seems his brother is trying to do the same with Janet before their marriage, hoping she'll ask him to leave her job and get married. "He'd wanted her to think he was making a sacrifice, leaving the Pocket for a wife and child. He'd wanted her to say, Come to Boston and marry me" (461)... reminded me of a film, or a scene that's been played over and over again: a classic situation of a man unwillingly being pressured into tying himself to the "old ball and chain"... and yet Matt actually wants to be tied down. In fact "he'd wanted her to feel responsible, and guilty for making him change his life. What an edge that would give him in the years to come" (461). That last part also really captures an element of power politics and gender dynamics in this novel.