The House of Mirth | Critical Essay by Louise K. Barnett

This literature criticism consists of approximately 18 pages of analysis & critique of The House of Mirth.
This section contains 5,200 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Louise K. Barnett

Critical Essay by Louise K. Barnett

SOURCE: Barnett, Louise K. “Language, Gender, and Society in The House of Mirth.Connecticut Review 11, no. 2 (summer 1989): 54-63.

In the following essay, Barnett posits that in The House of Mirth society functions as a character rather than simply a setting against which the story is told.

Edith Wharton's novels, like those of her friend and predecessor Henry James, are always speech act dramas which turn upon what can and cannot be said according to the dictates of society: the code of verbal restraint that governs utterance is everywhere present. For both James and Wharton society is the coercive arbiter of individual behavior, but whereas in James's fiction society is a generally diffused presence that never takes on the reality of a particular social milieu, in Wharton's work it assumes the specific historical shape of...

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This section contains 5,200 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Louise K. Barnett