Pomegranate Seed Essay

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In the following excerpt, the critics explore the power of the written word over the characters, maintaining that Charlotte Ashby reflects the reader's ambivalence about reading while Elsie Ashby embodies the author's anxiety about writing. The critics also propose that the relationships between the women in the story is dependent upon their connection to Kenneth Ashby.

At the beginning of Edith Wharton's story "Pomegranate Seed," Charlotte Ashby pauses on the threshold of her house, half-afraid to enter because she wonders whether another "square grayish envelope" addressed to her husband lies on the hall table within. Such letters, which figure prominently in Wharton's fiction and especially in "Pomegranate Seed," have the distinct power to alter relationships between men and women and between characters of the same sex. Eager and fearful to discover the contents and author of these ambiguous letters, "so alike in appearance that they had . . . become one...

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This section contains 3,453 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
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Pomegranate Seed from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.