A Prose Analysis
The meaning of a dowry is the property that a wife or wife's family gives to the husband upon marriage. In certain societies the dowry formed a part of an exchange of wealth between intermarrying families; it was often accompanied by some payment made by the groom to the bride's family, called the bride-price.1 In Indonesia we are more familiar with the term in our language “mas-kawin”.Dowry is closer in meaning to Padangnese custom. Although recognized in common law, and often forming an important element in the arrangement known as a marriage settlement in the United Kingdom, the dowry is almost unknown in the United States. In most countries, it constitutes a distinct and important form of property. The dowry is given to the husband, who has exclusive control and administration of it during marriage, to be employed in defraying the expenses of the family. The dowry may also serve as insurance against bad treatment of the wife by the husband; it must be forfeited to the wife or wife's family in case of divorce. The wife may not deprive the husband of its control, and he, on the other hand, is bound to protect the property that he receives as dowry.2
The characters in Dowry are telling traits (behavior or personalities) (characterization by the author). They both are flat characters meaning that their characterization stays the same from the beginning to the end. Simon Lebrument, the groom, is a handsome man, stylish (in a provincial way or unsophisticated) but for the town of Boutigny's standard he is stylish indeed. He is also a practicing lawyer who had bought a private practice of Papillon in Paris. Jeanne Cordier is graceful and fresh-looking although a trifle awkward (the author, Guy de Maupassant could be subtracting Cordier's grace a little). Then, he adds that she is a handsome girl (a dated term applied to a woman who is also very well-groomed and from an upper class background).3 She is a catch because she has three...
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