Monday, August 2

‘A Woman Trapped in an Incredibly Unhappy Marriage’: Should Marge Divorce Homer? | The Simpsons


In the weekly Guide Solved! column, we take a crucial pop culture question you’ve been raving about the answer to, and we solve it

What is miraculous about The Simpsons is not its tremendous longevity, nor its undeniable influence on Western culture as a whole. No, the really amazing thing about The Simpsons is that Marge has yet to divorce Homer.

Because, really, it should. If The Simpsons had its roots in some form of real life and wasn’t rebooted in the style of a sitcom after each episode, it would be a heartbreaking drama about a woman trapped in an incredibly unhappy marriage. In The Simpsons movie, for example, there is a quiet moment where Marge sits on the bed, silently absorbing another rule that saps her irresponsible husband’s energy, before admitting that her marriage “has aged me horribly. “. It is heartbreaking.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As early as 1992, Homer was actively considering an affair, and in 1999 he got drunk in Las Vegas and married a cocktail waitress. Then in 2004, in what might be the most terrible thing he’s ever done, he drove a car drunk, crashed it, and framed Marge.

It is true that in his best days, Homer can be a devoted father and a loving husband. But his best days are few and far between. The “do it for her” moment in season six, in which he reminds himself that he tolerates his bad work to support his children, is vastly outnumbered by times when he is selfish and outlandish.

Marge and Homer
Riding high … Marge and Homer. Photograph: Allstar / 20th Century Fox

Marge knows all this, of course. In 1994’s Secrets of a Successful Marriage, after Homer deliberately revealed all of his wife’s innermost secrets to the entire city, Marge finally casts him out. But she accepts it because, essentially, he emotionally blackmails her by claiming total dependence on her.

Clearly, Marge has the most to gain by ending her marriage. Before meeting Homer, she was a brilliant, resourceful young academic. In fact, he has done several impressive jobs. She joined the police. He wrote novels. She briefly became mayor of Springfield. Unchained from her gruesome marriage, nothing could stop Marge. Alternatively, if you prefer to go straight back into another relationship, you don’t have endless suitors either. Moe Szyslak doesn’t hide his desire for her; Jacques, the bowling instructor, is probably a cute Facebook post away; and even Lady Gaga, who kissed Marge in 2012, could be attracted again.

However, not only Marge would benefit from the divorce. Being raised by a single mother would force Bart to take on more responsibilities, which could curb his criminal behavior. Lisa would see that there is a path in life that does not involve being crushed under the weight of patriarchal expectations. It would even be beneficial to Homer. Imagine if Homer, for once in his life, were forced to think and act for himself. Imagine if you could no longer depend on one parent or spouse for all of your needs. He would change. It would grow. He would regain some of his old ambition. Sure, divorce would hurt at first, but it could also be everyone’s origin.

Obviously, if Marge ever divorced Homer, The Simpsons would have to end immediately. But, really, is it already such a big loss?


www.theguardian.com

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