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The Life And Works Of Edith Wharton

680 words - 3 pages

Harris 1

Born into a country nearly brand new, American famous writer, and poet Edith Wharton was born into a wealthy family in New York City, 1862. Although Edith was born into the wealthier class of New York, she could never endure the lifestyle. Edith’s writing started around the late 1890’s when she started to realize that the life that she was living was not for her. She married Edwards Robbins Wharton, a Boston banker whom she spent her time with in Rhode Island. Edith traveled to Europe a lot as a child and an adult. During World War One was the cusp of Wharton’s writing. She moved to France even though the world war was going on. She published books such as Madame de Treymes and The Fruit of the Tree, both in 1907. In 1911 she wrote The House of Mirth. This story stood for everything that Wharton tried to get across. The story made a farmer choose happiness between preserving a social ...view middle of the document...

Wharton started out writing poetry and anonymously publishing it in the Atlantic Monthly in 1880. She married Edward Wharton in 1885. Edward was a Rhode Island banker who obviously is not in the same economic class as Edith but somehow won over her heart. In 1897, Wharton along with the Ogden Codman wrote a book based on the new house that Wharton was moving into. The Decoration of Houses is a novel that shows how interior design could portray a homeowner’s personality.
Tension grew in the marriage of Edith and Edward. In order for Edith to find a way out of this mental instability, she began to write short stories about marriage and publish them in Scribner’s magazine. Edith had her first major novel in 1905 The House of Mirth. This story is about a young woman who was born into a wealthy family, but the family is now poor. The young lady now has to choose whether she wants to marry the man she love, or whether she should marry the man who is wealthy and will allow her to have economic security as well as preserve her family name. This novel not only could relate to her relationship with her husband, but it was the oncoming problem with economical differences in the relationships between New Yorkers.
In 1907, Edith moved to France. There she published two more novels, Madame de Treymes, and The Fruit of The Tree. She then wrote a novel in 1911 Ethan Frome. This novel is about a poor farmer that has to choose between being happy or preserving social standard. This connected to the woman in America who complained about the relationships that they don’t want to be in, but have to because they have to preserve a social standard. In 1913 Wharton divorced her husband and stayed in Europe even during World War One. She worked to help the relief effort from the Allies. She had two novels that talked about her work experience, The Maine (1918) and A Son at the Front (1923). Wharton published The Age of Innocence in 1920. This novel won the Pulitzer Prize. This novel was about a man who has a wife, but rather be with her cousin. After the death of his wife he clings on to the good marriage that he had with her.

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