‘The Gilded Age’ Season 2: Are Larry And Marian In Love?


Marian and Larry were two peas in a pod who had yet to find their way to each other, and by the end of The Gilded Age season 2, they had done exactly that. Marian’s thoughts and perspectives have always been contrary to the grain, which was the cause of friction between her and Agnes for a while. Right from the beginning, which was season 1 of The Gilded Age, Marian supported Bertha because she was a logical woman. Additionally, it was only Marian who bothered to respect Bertha, unlike the others, who just wanted her money. Bertha may not have especially noted Marian’s support, but it has been by her side and for all the right reasons.

As for Larry, he shares Marian’s love for logic and empathy over tradition. He did not want to do what was expected of him and make something of himself without the influence of his father, which is why he pursued architecture and was successful at it. This is similar to Marian, who did not just want to get married and live a domestic life, like what was expected of her as a woman, which is why she was working as a teacher. Additionally, both Marian and Larry are people who love honesty. Larry sincerely loved a woman at the beginning of season 2, and he fought with his mother for her. The breakup happened on her end, not because of Larry. She had been unable to stand against Bertha. Similarly, Marian had fallen in love in season 1 and had fought tooth and nail for her relationship. It had broken up because the man lacked courage at the last minute. Both Marian and Larry knew what it felt like to fight tooth and nail for your relationships, which is why they became each other’s safe space. Larry was the only one other than Ada and Aurora who knew Marian’s secret and did not judge her for it. These two have found comfort in each other many times, and they are each other’s best friends. Larry even seems to know the right way to comfort Marian, and surprisingly, Marian has never felt awkward around him the way she may have felt around others.

Another commonality between the two is their respect for Marian’s independence. For Marian, finding a job and working hard at it came with some controversy. She came from wealth, and since working was not what she was expected to do, it was seen as a hobby. Dashiell was clear that she would be leaving her job once they got married, and he even went so far as to say that she wasn’t a real teacher. Sadly for Marian, she did not have much defense against that because she wouldn’t have any support in this scenario. She did not live in a time when a career was deemed to be equally important to marriage or other personal relationships. Also, it was questionable whether Marian had a future in teaching or not, so that made it harder to explain why she loved her job so much. We are not saying Larry would have understood Marian’s desire to work, but it cannot be ignored that he tried his best to get a woman her due acknowledgment for the construction of a bridge. He knew that the world would not accept it and the news would be eventually suppressed, but he did his part with stubbornness and made sure that there was a record of this fact, which may prove beneficial in the future. It just goes to show that he is not one to diminish women’s achievements. This means that he would acknowledge the work that Marian was doing. Even if it doesn’t greatly benefit society, he wouldn’t underestimate how it benefits Marian, and he would want that for her.

We have also noted that other than George, Larry is the first man to praise his mother. The women have acknowledged Bertha’s powers and influence in society, and George always compliments her on her strength and ability to do things the right way. But it was Larry who used the word ‘management’ with respect to Bertha’s talents. He understands that she has a talent that could be applied anywhere, and she was finding success with it in the societal sphere. Basically, Larry was an empathetic and intelligent man, which Marian recognized.

We wouldn’t say that Marian and Larry had feelings for each other before. They definitely only thought of themselves as friends. But when the moment was right, neither of them was in doubt about it. Marian’s life was on the verge of changing once again since she thought that her aunts were bankrupt, and Larry had just found that his family was at the top of the food chain in New York. Yet, there was an enduring friendship and tenderness between the two of them that was unaffected by their circumstances. Larry certainly liked the fighting spirit of his Marian and the way she took things in stride with her job and new situation.

As for Marian, the fact that she spoke so freely with him must mean that she appreciated how he did not treat her differently, with snobbery or pity, upon knowing that her family was penniless. What greater proof could these two give each other that they saw each other as people, free from the trappings of wealth and social station? The fact that these two factors matched was the cherry on top of the cake, and they realized that. Marian would never be intimidated by Bertha, and Larry would know how to deal with Agnes. But before all of that, these two would have to figure out how far their feelings for each other went. It is almost comical how perfect the timing of their story is. Marian is a good match in terms of money and prestige, whereas Agnes cannot protest too much against Larry since she has to divide her own money and control over the household with her sister, who supports Marian through her struggles. This is literally what it means to have a match made in heaven and brought together by human circumstances.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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