To what extent do you agree with the viewpoint expressed by the Major in "In Another Country" in his remark: "A man must not marry ..."?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Even the major does not agree with the viewpoint he expressed in his explosive remark:

"A man must not marry, . . ." a man "should not place himself in a position to lose [everything]. . . He’ll lose it. Don’t argue with me!"

The major's wife was ill with pneumonia, which he must have known because after his emotional eruption he immediately requested a telephone and placed the call that informed him of his wife's death from pneumonia--an illness that doesn't take life suddenly but over a period of days or even weeks.

The major's remarks were a violent reaction of grief, sorrow and agony over his fear for his wife's impending death. The fact that he had a wife, that he loved her so devotedly, and that he was so enraged and grieved at his loss of her indicates that his remark wasn't his true belief but his emotional reaction to uncontrollable circumstances.

This view of his remark being an emotional reaction as opposed to a life view is further supported by the fact that before his loss, he focused his attention on the wall--his attention was riveted by his own immediate task of recovery so he could resume duty. After the news of his loss, he looks out the window; his emotions now supersede reason and all other considerations, even that of his duty as a military officer.

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In Another Country

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