Pomegranate Seed Essay

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In the following excerpt, Zilversmit focuses on Charlotte Ashby's rivalry with the ghost of her husband's first wife, maintaining that she is overcome and eventually defeated by her fear that she is not as sexually desirable as her rival.

Near the end of her life, Wharton, like [Henry] James, wrote two of her best and most revealing stories of psychological terror, "Pomegranate Seed" (1931) and "All Souls"' (1937). In "The Jolly Corner" James finally exposes the true source of his isolation in the specter of the fingerless and maimed alter-ego his protagonist encounters. So Wharton, nearing her seventies, called up her most potent fears, the phantoms, not of men or society, but of other women, seemingly more attractive and deserving than herself or her heroines. These other women, like the rivals in many of her novels, seem so formidable as to be in touch with other-worldly powers that enhance...

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This section contains 1,218 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Pomegranate Seed Study Guide
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Pomegranate Seed from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.