Edith Wharton's Portrait of Society
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This paper examines "The House of Mirth", "The Age of Innocence" and "Ethan Frome" to show the purpose of Edith Wharton's writing, the style in which she writes, and the themes that appear in her novels. The paper highlights Wharton's support for the individual's struggle for freedom amidst popular opposition, and her criticism of the standards that society imposes on men and women.
From the Paper:""Wave after wave of black silk surged away over the edges of a capacious armchair, with two tiny white hands poised like gulls on the surface of the billows..." . This vivid description taken from page 27 of The Age of Innocence and given as a typing exercise was my first introduction to the world of Edith Wharton. To a six year old who was more focused on hunting for the letter keys than reading the words themselves, the passage seemed trivial and even dull. Now, ten years later, rediscovering the tragedy of a woman rejected by an unforgiving community has given me insights which have helped me to gain different perspectives of viewing the human condition. A perceptive author who captures the essence of New York at the turn of the 20th century in her works, Edith Wharton's writing shows that society and its expectations destroy an individual's identity and inflict crushing consequences on those who try to rebel against convention, especially women."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Wharton, Edith. The age of innocence. New York, N.Y.: Penguin, 1999. Print
- ---. A backward glance. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998. Print.
- Wharton, Edith, and Anita Brookner. The stories of Edith Wharton. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1990. Print.
- Wharton, Edith. Ethan Frome. New York: Signet Classic, 2000. Print.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Edith Wharton's Portrait of Society (2010, May 21) Retrieved October 05, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/edith-wharton-portrait-of-society-119726/
"Edith Wharton's Portrait of Society" 21 May 2010. Web. 05 October. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/edith-wharton-portrait-of-society-119726/>