In the story “Popular Mechanics,” the author is clearly portraying what has now become a very common problem in modern day relationships. Today’s society has indeed taken poor form in the relationship category, and it is not the happy-go-lucky times people were accustomed to seeing in the fifties and sixties. Divorce rate in the U.S. has increased to a whopping fifty percent. A booming increase in divorces happened in the late sixties and early seventies.
Some reasons for this increase could quite possibly be the toll that the Vietnam War had on the families back in the U.S. It could have been the huge civil rights movements that were taking place. Or it could have been the growing threat of nuclear annihilation from the Soviet Union. It was a period of uncertainty and great change. But what I think are the main reasons are two-fold: that routine is no longer implemented in society, and people lack commitment.
In the fifties you knew that mom would be cooking and cleaning all day and dad would come home from work later that night and expect dinner ready. People need routine. They become unruly without it. Nowadays there is hardly any routine. It is common to have both spouses working, and each often have conflicting and unpredictable schedules. As the great Jack Nicholson said in “The Departed”, “no tiki, no laundry”. What that means is: no routine, no stability in the relationship. The fact is that in this story, the author had no problem thinking up a scenario such as a couple fighting over a baby in such drastic ways. That type of story was unthinkable 100 years ago.
Commitment is the other factor. The couples of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s were so dedicated to each other that divorce was hardly ever a thought. Nowadays, there is more choice than ever before. This choice gives modern day couples options to do whatever they want, and people are often self-centered. They feel as though divorce, fighting and creating bad environments is an option as a means...