Character Study: The Engineer Who Married the Debutante

Arthur G. was a graduate of a New England engineering college who had led his class, had secured three United States patents before he graduated, and for whom a brilliant and successful career was predicted.

In his senior year in college he received the post possible offers from more than a dozen large concerns, and finally settled on one in Pittsburgh. For the first five years after graduation he applied himself almost blindly to his work and received promotion after promotion.

He did not seem interested in woman. This disturbed his parents who did everything they could to make a “desirable match” for him. Finally, as a result of giving in to his parents, he became engaged to a woman eight years younger than he was. She was of a socially prominent family, while his family was of ordinary social status; naturally this match pleased his family tremendously, especially since they had engineered it. She was not educated beyond the high school, except for a training course in manners by private tutors.

She was interested primarily in going to dance, card parties, the theatre; he was interested primarily in making engineering plans and in reading engineering journals and higher mathematics.

He was basically religious, she was frivolous in spiritual matters.

Both were considered good catches, she for her money and position, he for his accomplishments and great promise.

But was it a successful match?

Before his marriage he had been widely liked on account of his pleasant and agreeable personality. He was patient, modest, considerate. But within a year after his marriage he was irritable, lost his temper readily, became curt and impatient with his subordinates, became almost slovenly in personal appearance, and would sit at his desk dreaming idly rather than producing engineering results. There is little doubt but that this change, which lost him the vice-presidency in charge of engineering, was caused directly by his marriage.

Personality Health, Personal Analysis Bureau, Chicago, 1930.

How will you, the author, get Arthur out of this mess? Write a romance that gives Arthur a happy ending.

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