This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Ghosts In Afterward By Edith Wharton

1860 words - 7 pages

Most people are very convinced that they will recognize a ghost right away when they see one. The portrayal of ghosts in movies and ghost stories has set initial expectations of ghosts’ appearances and behaviors. However, people do not have the ability to recognize ghosts promptly when they encounter them. After all, as Michael Cox and R.A. Gilbert mentioned, ghosts are just dead people that remain in our memories and that we have no choice but to learn to live with their continuing presence (1). If people’s minds are preset on the fact that they are able to identify ghosts immediately, they will miss out on key opportunities to learn about important values in the long term through the presence of ghosts. Since ghosts are dead people, they have lived in the past; they know about history and what values are most important. Therefore, in “Afterward”, Edith Warton deliberately depicts the ghost as something that one does not recognize until long after to prove that dishonesty among family members causes the death of the family relationship.
In the story, ghost is something that one does not recognize until long after. In the beginning of the story, when Edward Boyne asks Alida Stairs whether or not there is a ghost in Lyng, Alida’s response is “Oh, there is one, of course, but you’ll never know it.” (41) Edith Warton tries to prove that the ghost is something that one does not recognize through a conversation between Edward and Alida; Edward’s question is “That there’s a ghost, but that nobody knows it’s a ghost?” (41) and the answer to his question is “Well – not till afterward, at any rate” (41). As for Mary, in her home at Lyng, she is aware that ‘when one did see a ghost at Lyng, one did not know it.’ (44) When Mary is talking to her husband about the ghosts in Lyng, she recognizes the fact that one cannot identify the ghosts when she says, “That when one sees the Lyng ghost one never knows it.” (47) and “the exasperating thing is that there’s no use trying, since one can’t be sure till so long afterward.” (48) The last sentence in the story, “You won’t know till afterward,” it said. “You won’t know till long, long afterward.” (67) also implies that one will not recognize the ghost until later.
Family members are dishonest to each other in “Afterwards”. Mary feels that ‘there is a secret somewhere’ (43) between her and her husband – if Mary and her husband have secrets between themselves, this means that they are not being truthful to each other. In regards to the ghost of Lyng, Mary thinks that ‘her husband had acquired it already, and was silently carrying the dread of whatever it had revealed to him.’ (44). Mary’s husband ‘silently carrying the dread’ shows that there is something that he is keeping to himself and is not sharing with his wife. Also, when Mary receives an article from the Sentinel about a suit against her husband, it is evident that her husband is not transparent with her because she asks her husband, “But doesn’t this...

Find Another Essay On Ghosts in Afterward by Edith Wharton

The Witch Wins in Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

1352 words - 5 pages , Edith Wharton portrays a twisted fairy tale similar to the story of Snow White with the traditional characters, but without a happy ending to show that in a bleak and stark reality, the beautiful and enchanting maiden could become the witch. Ethan Frome contains three main characters that parallel those of traditional fairy tales. Firstly, Zeena represents the witch, or evil stepmother. Everything about her resembles a witch, from “her puckered

The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton

2466 words - 10 pages parties thrown for Ellen are another way to show the reader her fate, and how she is to be viewed. “The Van der Luydens party and May’s farewell dinner both signify as we have noted society’s pronouncements on Ellen’s fate” (McDowell 66.) Another important symbol used by Wharton was the tearing of Mays wedding dress which showed the struggles in the young couple’s marriage. Edith used many instances of symbolism in her writing to show the readers

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

938 words - 4 pages The Age of Innocence Social classes have been imbedded into society ever since the establishment of a hierarchy. In The Age of Innocence written by Edith Wharton, Archer is a prime example of emptiness due to the injustice of the social class. Humanity becomes shallow when one focuses on material possessions to determine value or popularity. In The Age of Innocence, the author explores the life of high society in the early Victorian-Era New

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

1325 words - 6 pages Nature verses nurture is an ongoing debate between people for centuries now. Some believe that a person is born with certain traits and characteristics that will remain true for the rest of their life. Others believe that every person is born into the world with a blank slate that can be mold into an image of whichever the parent desired it to be. In the case of Lily Bart, the protagonist in The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, the

The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton

908 words - 4 pages This book should is relevant to the high school curriculum because it teaches certain morals, and raises questionable ideas about the way the children should perceive society standards. It is a historical teaching, by showing the teenagers the mentality behind the 1870’s society. Edith Wharton usually wrote in her stories several themes that involved the Higher Class in New York during the time. The ironic situations that presented themselves

The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton

1412 words - 6 pages Irony is common in realist novels that reveal the fall and/or rise of characters among other aspects. It is mostly shown at the end which is usually tragic but tell readers the fate of the characters. Realist novels have plausible events, with cause and effect in their stories — what the characters desire and the consequences they receive because of that. Realism in the novel, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, was clearly shown through Lily

Character of Seldon in The House of Mirth By Edith Wharton

718 words - 3 pages Character of Seldon “He declared himself entirely at her disposal: the adventure struck him as diverting. As a spectator, he had always enjoyed Lily Bart; and his course lay so far out of her orbit that it amused him to be drawn for a moment into the sudden intimacy which her proposal implied.” Source: The House of Mirth, By Edith Wharton It should be noted that the role of Selden is highly important because it is a stock role in the novel of

Examples of Naturalism in Ethan Frome Characters, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

978 words - 4 pages “Naturalism is commonly understood as an extension or intensification of realism. The intensification involves the introduction of characters of a kind…” (Baym, 1999) A perfect example of Naturalist work is Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Ethan, one of the main characters in the book, is a old, deformed man who is in love with his wife’s cousin. Zeena is Ethan’s wife who occasionally has psychological illnesses. Mattie is

The significance of the title "Roman fever" by Edith Wharton

933 words - 4 pages for which these two women represent as a result is exposed ironically by Edith Wharton, one of the best American writer of the twentieth century. It was not until the very end of the story that the readers recognize the insightful significance of the title 'Roman fever' which is not only a kind of a physical deadly disease but also a metaphor for jealousy, rivalry and hostility of women in the writer's days.Roman fever, first of all, refers to

This is a indept summery of the novel Age of innocene by American author edith wharton

1174 words - 5 pages Age of Innocence By the time the bloody chaos of the First World War finally came to an end on November 11, 1918, the American novelist Edith Wharton had already been living as an expatriate in Paris for five years. During that time, she had essentially ceased to write fiction and had turned her energies instead to the Allied effort by providing war relief for soldiers and refugees. Her devotion and enthusiasm for her work was, in fact, enough

To What Extent Is Ethan A Victim, And What Is He A Victim Of? (Ethan From By Edith Wharton)

927 words - 4 pages Essay Question : To what extent is Ethan a victim, and what is he a victim of? Ethan has all the qualities of being a victim. He could be a victim of Zeena's sickness and cruelty, victim of circumstances and chance, a victim of his endurance and the weather of Starkfield, a victim of his conscience, and why not, a victim of Mattie's attitude at the end of the novella. The question is; is he totally a victim, in all extents, or does Wharton

Similar Essays

Trapped In Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton

1002 words - 4 pages Many people oppose society due to the surroundings that they face and the obstacles that they encounter. Set in the bleak winter landscape of New England, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton is the story of a poor, lonely man, his wife Zeena, and her cousin Mattie Silver. Ethan the protagonist in this novel, faces many challenges and fights to be with the one he really loves. Frome was trapped from the beginning ever since Mattie Silver came to live

Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton Essay

1680 words - 7 pages , et al. "The Utilization of Home Care by the Elderly in Brazil's Primary Health Care System." American Journal of Public Health 101.5 (2011): 868-74. ProQuest. Web. 26 Apr. 2014. Wharton, Edith. Ethan Frome. The Project Gutenberg of Ethan Frome. 8 Jan. 2013. Web 9 April 2014. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4517/4517-h/4517-h.h

"Ethan Frome" By Edith Wharton Essay

546 words - 2 pages The romantic tragedy, Ethan Frome was written by Edith Wharton. The novel takes place in the small town of Starkfield, Massachusetts in the early 1900s. Ethan Frome is the main character in the novel and is married to his wife Zeena. They live in an old farmhouse along with Mattie Silver, who came to live with them to be of assistance to Zeena around the house. Ethan is caught in a love triangle with his spouse Zeena and secret lover Mattie

"Ethan Frome" By Edith Wharton Essay

643 words - 3 pages Ethan Frome, the main character in the book entitled Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, has manycomplex problems going on at the same time. His family has died and he has a wife that is continually sick, and the only form of happiness he has is from his wife's cousin Mattie. This,however, at times proves to be hard because of Ethan's wifes interference. Nothing seems to be going in Ethan's favor. The main theme of the book is failure, and this is