The House of Mirth Essay

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In the following essay, Olin-Ammentorp challenges traditional feminist interpretations of Wharton's The House of Mirth.

In the past decade, feminist critics have done much to restore Edith Wharton to her proper rank among American novelists and to shed light on many aspects of her work previous critics had overlooked. Scholars such as Cynthia Griffin Wolff, Elizabeth Ammons, Judith Fetterley, and recently Wai-Chee Dimock have changed the understanding of Wharton's work through their perceptive analyses, focusing particularly on Wharton's insights into the social structures of the early part of this century and the ways in which these structures influenced and limited women's lives.

Yet the work of these feminist critics also raises issues of the limitations, or perhaps blindspots, of current feminist literary criticism, issues which go beyond their application to Wharton and her work. For instance, most feminist critics seem to imply that Wharton, though never one to...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 3,112 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The House of Mirth Study Guide
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