Study Guide

The Corrections Marriage

By Jonathan Franzen


We'd like to recommend The Corrections to all of the soon-to-be newlyweds out there—as a cautionary tale, that is. You'll see how a lack of honest communication can suffocate a marriage, meet incompatible pairs who convince themselves that they're right for each other, and you'll see how marriages often become reflections of our parents', no matter how much we might try to fight it.

Sure, this may not be the most optimistic novel about marriage ever written, but it'll open your eyes to the struggles that every couple goes through. Here's our tip for a long-lasting marriage, for what it's worth: Be a lover, not a fighter.

Questions About Marriage

  1. What does the image of Enid as a guerilla say about her marriage?
  2. Why does Enid remain married to Alfred?
  3. In what ways is Gary's marriage similar or different from his parents'?
  4. What does Denise learn from her marriage to Emile?

Chew on This

Through characters like Gary, we see how children end up recreating their parents' marriage despite—and maybe because—they try to fight it.

The Corrections illustrates how a lack of communication can isolate both spouses in a marriage, creating a situation where nobody gets what they want.