Literary Precedents for The Waltz

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The narrator in "The Waltz" fits the literary precedent of the witty, complaining female found in Chaucer's "Wife of Bath" (in The Canterbury Tales, c. 13871400). The use of humor to critique male-female relationships, however, has a more recent tradition among American women writers. The nineteenth century saw the rise of Fanny Fern, Francis Miriam Berry Whitcher, and Marietta Holley, writers who offered sharp commentaries on the sexes through the protective device of humor.

An interesting comparison can be made with a turn-of-the-century regional story, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman's "A New England Nun." Although set in a different time and among different circumstances, Louisa Ellis finds a way to say 'no' to a man's offering.

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This section contains 115 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Waltz Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Waltz from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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