[FOUNTAIN]When marriage is a strategy

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[FOUNTAIN]When marriage is a strategy

When a scandal "gate" breaks out, daughters of the powerful men involved can lose their marriages. Top officials ought to be criticized for wrongdoing, but why do their daughters have to suffer from the tragedy on their wedding days? In one case, the wedding ceremony, with blessings from famous guests, was held one day after the father of the bride resigned his post due to involvement in the Chin Seung-hyon-gate. The groom, who was said to aspire to become a legal professional, declared a separation a few hours after the wedding. It was said that he decided to break off the marriage because he concluded that his father-in-law could no longer help him in his career.

A few years ago, a vice minister declared the cancellation of his daughter's engagement just a few days before her wedding ceremony. In a reverse case, an official at Seoul's city office received a notice from his future son-in-law withdrawing from an engagement with his daughter. The two fathers were embarrassed by criticism that their wedding gifts to their future sons-in-law were considered stingy. It was rumored, however, that they were likely to resign soon from their offices, and that this precipitated the breaking-off of the engagements.

People who will stop at nothing to gain success were well depicted in Stendhal's "The Red and the Black." A carpenter's son seduces an aristocrat's daughter and succeeds in obtaining a title. Before the wedding, he tries to kill a former sweetheart, a potential obstacle to the marriage. In the end he meets the guillotine. Korean films like "Spoiled Children," "The Time of Success" and "Ghost in Love" tell of the tragedies of those who pursue success. These young men try to marry women of high status and wealth, then betray them when their plans go sour.

At one time, matchmakers were more active. Some of them specialized in introducing potential prosecutors and judges to upper-class families in return for high commissions. Matchmakers still play an important role. Some young people who exchange wedding vows for reasons other than love and then break their marriages might be condemned as "spoiled children." Some young entrepreneurs in start-up companies lose love, honor and power by offering bribes to government officials and politicians. Now they are like owls in daylight.

Let's hear the poetry of Sir Rabindranath Tagore. "Power said to the world, 'You are mine.' The world made power a prisoner on the throne. Love said to the world, 'I am yours.' The world gave love freedom to carry on."



The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Choi Chul-joo

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