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In Edith Wharton stories souls belated and Autre Temps - Essay Example

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Writer Customer English 20 May 2011 Psychoanalysis of Women in Edith Wharton’s Stories Women are known to be complex and overly sensitive creatures. Consequently at times it is difficult to decipher their various actions and the consequences that lead them to carry out those actions…
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In Edith Wharton stories souls belated and Autre Temps
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Download file to see previous pages However Edith Wharton in her short stories ‘Soul Belated’ and ‘Auster Temps’ tries to rectify the situation and struggles to present an independent woman who is able to decide for herself and has the tendency and courage to strife for her freedom and happiness. Although the readers get a totally opposite impression as they observe the women protagonists trying to struggle in the pursuit of happiness yet they find themselves failing tremendously. Both the stories project two divorced women and the problems and insecurities they face because of the treatment to which society had subjected them to before and after their divorce. Mrs. Lidcote in Auster Temps’ deal with her insecurities regarding her daughter’s future and the disappointments she faces when she realizes that even after twenty years the society still shuns her. On the other Lydia in Soul Belated is observed to be trying to run away from the shackles of marriage again as she relishes her new found freedom after her separation from her husband and the eminent divorce in the near future. In Mrs. Lidcote case the readers observe that the woman’s decision to return to states after twenty years to meet her daughter and try to face the cruel society matrons again is a proof of her courage and determination to deal with any sort of unpleasant conduct of the society for her daughter’s sake. However in her particular situation it is observed that she is a victim of society’s prejudices and such a harsh behavior not only effects her emotionally but also takes its toll on her relationship with her daughter and Franklin Ide which becomes quite strained as both the characters in their efforts to protect her from any sort of harm implicitly imply that she is still not accepted by the society matrons. Hence she feels as if she is alone in this world and her desolate state is not because of lack of inner strength to defy the strictures of society and live independently but because of the prejudices and impartiality of the society However Lydia from the beginning of the story is depicted in a manner that gives her an aura of vulnerability and projects her as an indecisive young woman as this is clearly apparent from her attempt to avoid discussing the divorce letter. Her attempt to escape from a major confrontation is symbolic of her lack of courage. Subsequently as the story unfolds for her the best solution to every trouble is to try to run away from it as also observed towards the end she again tries to turn her back and run away from Gannett’s offer of marriage. Though she is scared for her image in front of Lady Susan and the rest of her party but she does not makes any attempt to accept her reality and face them like Mrs. Lidcote. Instead she decides to cut herself free from Gannett. Then again in the end it is observed that she succumbs to marry Gannett and this particular action is a testimony against her lack of courage because even when she convinces herself to board the boat at the last moment she runs back because may be she is the conventional sort of the woman who accepts that her existence in this world without a man and a legitimate relationship is near to impossible. So she realizes that rather than fighting fate it is better to give in and face life as it comes rather than anticipating disappointments without taking the plunge. Hence it is observed th ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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