‘A woman trapped in an impossibly unhappy marriage‘: should Marge divorce Homer?

In the Guide’s weekly Solved! 열, we look into a crucial pop-culture question you’ve been burning to know the answer to – and settle it

The miraculous thing about The Simpsons is not its tremendous longevity, nor its undeniable influence on western culture as a whole. 아니, what is really astonishing about The Simpsons is that Marge hasn’t divorced Homer yet.

Because, 정말, she should. If The Simpsons was rooted in any form of real life, and didn’t reset itself sitcom-style after every episode, it would be a harrowing drama about a woman trapped in an impossibly unhappy marriage. 에 The Simpsons Movie, 예를 들어, there is a quiet moment where Marge sits on the bed, silently absorbing yet another energy-draining screed from her feckless husband, before admitting that her marriage has “aged me horribly”. It’s heartbreaking.

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

진실, on his best days Homer can be a devoted father and a loving spouse. But his best days are few and far between. Season six’s oft-heralded “do it for her” moment, where he reminds himself that he tolerates his bad job to support his children, is massively outnumbered by moments where he is selfish and harebrained.

Marge knows all of this, 물론이야. In 1994’s Secrets of a Successful Marriage, after Homer has deliberately revealed all of his wife’s innermost secrets to the whole town, Marge finally throws him out. But she takes him back because, essentially, he emotionally blackmails her by claiming total dependence on her.

Clearly, Marge has most to gain by ending her marriage. Before she met Homer she was a brilliant, resourceful, academic young woman. 과연, she has held down a number of impressive jobs. She joined the police. She wrote novels. She briefly became mayor of Springfield. Unshackled from her awful marriage, there would be no stopping Marge. 또는, if she prefers to bounce straight back into another relationship she also has no end of suitors. Moe Szyslak makes no secret of his desire for her; Jacques the bowling instructor is probably one flirtatious Facebook message away; and even Lady Gaga, who kissed Marge in 2012, might be lured back.

하나, it isn’t just Marge who would benefit from divorce. Being raised by a single mum would force Bart into taking on more responsibilities, which could curb his delinquent behaviour. Lisa would see that there is a path in life that doesn’t involve being crushed by the weight of patriarchal expectations. It would even be beneficial for Homer. Imagine if Homer, for once in his life, was forced to think and act for himself. Imagine if he could no longer rely on a parent or a spouse for all his needs. He would change. He would grow. He’d get some of his old ambition back. Sure, divorce would sting at first, but it could also be the making of all of them.

Obviously if Marge ever did divorce Homer, The Simpsons would immediately have to end. 그러나, 정말, is that such a great loss any more?

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