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Summer Summary
Edith Wharton

Everything you need to understand or teach Summer by Edith Wharton.

  • Summer Summary & Study Guide

Summer Summary

Introduction

Like the protagonist in Ethan Frome, Wharton's most widely read novel today, Charity yearns for a fuller life than the one she lives in her small town, but social restrictions and a certain weakness of character prevent her from realizing her dreams. One of the first American literary novels to deal frankly with a young woman's sexual awakening, Summer begins with a chance encounter, has a passionate affair at its center, and ends with a wedding. In this bare outline, Summer appears similar to hundreds of "sentimental" novels of the period, but critics agree that Wharton's depth of feeling and rich prose have turned a conventional plot into art. The novel's contemporary reviewers argued heatedly over the meaning of the wedding, and the question continued to interest critics in the twenty-first century.

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Study Pack

The Summer Study Pack contains about 43 pages of study material in 9 products, including:

Summer Study Guide

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