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Edith Wharton


Her main role in life was to be a daughter of society' which she would later rebel against. ... Mark Twain dubbed the period from 1878-1889 The Gilded Age. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton
Life of Edith Wharton
  • She lived from 1862-1937
  • Was born in New York City and died in France
  • She belonged to an aristocratic family
  • Her main role in life was to be a daughter of
    society which she would later rebel against.
  • Her father had an extensive library where she
    often read. From this, she made up stories which
    were acted out for her nanny.

  • In 1885, she married Teddy Wharton
  • She continued to live a well-off life with homes
    in New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
  • Her marriage with Teddy was never great, and
    when she found out he had a mistress, she left
    for Paris where she fell in love with Morton
  • Fullerton.
  • Her lifes circumstances
  • often led to the
  • creation of her characters.

  • Unlike many authors, Whartons works were very
    popular during her lifetime and she was able to
    live off of her earnings.
  • In 1912, she divorced Teddy.
  • After the divorce, she traveled through Paris
    during World War I helping refugees.
  • She only returned to the US to receive the
    Pulitzer Prize for her book The Age of Innocence.
  • She died in Paris in 1937 from
  • a stroke.

The Gilded Age
  • Mark Twain dubbed the period from 1878-1889 The
    Gilded Age. This meant that there was a thin
    veneer of glitter over something of poor quality.
  • It was a time of prosperity for the rich, a time
    for growth in industry and a time when immigrants
    flocked to America.
  • Wharton lived and wrote during this time and was
    one of the upper class who
  • had a lot of wealth during this time.

Ethan Frome
  • Ethan Frome is not Whartons most well-known
    work The Age of Innocence is.
  • Wharton and her mother had a cold relationship
    which can be seen in Ethan Frome, although not in
    a mother-daughter relationship.
  • Her relationship with her mother was
    characterized by a starvation for love.

  • The majority of Whartons novels are satirical
    ones that poke fun at the rich, luxurious lives
    that she and her friends lived.
  • Ethan Frome is very different in that it does not
    look at high society.
  • Instead, she chose to look at an actual event
    that happened in 1904 a sledding accident and
    wrote a novella about it.
  • The book was published in
  • 1911 when society was very
  • anxious about women and
  • their roles in society.

  • As you read, notice the roles Zena and Mattie
    take both in life and towards Ethan.
  • Ethan Frome moves away from visible social issues
    and instead delves into the prohibitions of one
    man who must hide his feelings towards his wifes
  • As you read, consider why Ethan feels the way he
    does about Mattie. How is she different from

The Frame Narrative A frame narrative is a story
within a story (sometimes within yet another
story). The form echoes in structure the thematic
search in the story for something deep, dark, and
secret at the heart of the narrative. As is often
the case, a different individual often narrates
the events of a story in each frame. This
structure of course also leads us to question the
reasons behind each of the narrations since,
unlike an omniscient narrative perspective, the
teller of the story becomes an actual character
with shortcomings, limitations, prejudices, and
Frame Narratives
  • This story is told in the form of a frame story.
  • Notice how it begins and ends with the narrators
    speculation and revelationswhat does this tell
    you about the reliability of the narrator and his
  • By the end, try to figure out who the narrator
    gets his final story from.
  • Who is telling the story in chapters 1-9?
  • Where do the facts come from?

  • The difference between doing what makes you happy
    and what is morally right
  • What is more important obligation or personal
  • Distance associated with the lack of
  • Illusion
  • Consequences that are the result of living
    according to the rules of society.
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