In American Salvage, by Bonnie Jo Campbell, the author provides us with a collection of short stories. In one of the short stories, Boar Tint, Ernie and Jill must deal with the daily struggles that the farm life of Michigan offer, while keeping their intimate relationship intact. Although, Ernie is ten years the elder of Jill it did not stop them from marrying each other. They have been married for about a year now, but not without their problems. This has not been Ernie first marriage, he had one other wife and they decided that it was better for them to divorce. Despite the fact that Ernie is much older than Jill, Jill still finds Ernie quite attractive. This must attest to Ernie’s attractiveness. In fact, after his first divorce he had his choice of women, but decided to choose Jill. It has been proven from the story that Ernie is willing to trust Jill and lets her make her own mistakes, even if he knows better of the situation. For example, when Jill was talking to Ernie about buying the pig, Ernie was hesitant in buying the pig, but Jill would not hear any of it, and Ernie conceded in letting her buy the pig . At the heart of the relationship these two people seem very different from one and another. Jill is the college student with the education and Ernie is the uneducated farmer who grew up on the country side of Michigan. But, they are in a committed relationship. Their personalities complement each other.
A key part of their relationship is their passion for one and another. Erin and Jill make love to each other every night, no matter if they are tired or busy. Although, the passion for each other brings them closer, Jill’s decision making with the money has not been the best so far. While, Ernie does not want to take that many risks with their money and wants to focus on what they have, Jill uses the money on risky investments. These investments do not usually have a return on them and end up failing soon after they begin. He disapproves with the investments, but he never fully tells Jill that she cannot spend their money on them, always ending up reluctantly agreeing with the plan. His reluctance to say no goes along with his personality; he is a very calm man. He never lets his emotions get the best of him. What Brings or Keeps This Couple Together
Although, this is not a perfect intimate relationship there are forces that bring Erin and Jill together. We can use particular theories to help explain how and why these couples come together and how they are able to last. For example, using the evolutionary perspective we can see why Ernie’s handsomeness can bring this couple together. The evolutionary perspective states that certain traits have been passed down for two reasons. One a trait may increases an organisms chance to survive in the world and two a trait might also be passed down through the generations if it “directly increases an organism’s chances to successfully reproducing by helping the organism compete for or attract mates” (Karney 97). One of these traits is, physical appearance and our ideas of what we think are attractive were developed thousands of years ago in the “environment of evolutionary adaptedness” (Karney 99). In this environment a more symmetrical face meant you were more attractive, because it usually meant that you were more fertile and in better health. Women in this environment valued fertility because they did not want to waste their time with someone who could pass down their genes. This is probably one of the reasons that have kept them together, because Jill is so attracted to Ernie.
Another possible theory that could help explain how the couple have been able to stay together for as long as they have, even with their problems is social exchange theory. Erin and Jill have a higher reward then the due a cost, so they are willing to stay in that relationship according to social exchange theory. This theory views relationships and intimacy of couples in...
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