Response Paper #2
Eng. 110/ Mearns
October 2, 2012
In “Marrying Absurd,” Joan Didion takes a critical look at the Las Vegas wedding industry. Didion uses specific details to express her impression of weddings in Las Vegas. She includes details that mean one thing to the people getting married in Las Vegas and mean another thing to people who don’t get married in Las Vegas, kind of establishing a satiric tone towards the marriages. Though Didion never shares her feelings towards the Las Vegas marriage industry directly, she conveys her feelings of contempt toward the industry through her descriptions and tone.
Didion’s descriptions could include that there are signs advertisements posted throughout the city and surrounding highways where it is a just a “…vast hostile desert…” (pg. 50) More examples of her satiric tone would be when she uses comments made by the people getting married and how one woman describes it as: “it was just as nice as I hoped and dreamed it would be.” (pg. 52) She uses the example of the bride who looked too drunk to think straight and how her bridegroom told her how she needed to “get sober.” (pg. 51) Didion also used that the bride only has to swear that she is eighteen and the groom swearing he is twenty-one and have five dollars. (pg. 49) Using that could make the reader imply that she doesn’t think the actual Las Vegas marriages are as significant as the weddings that are planned out for months or years.