Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty: A Novel Themes & Motifs

Ramona Ausubel
This Study Guide consists of approximately 94 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty.
This section contains 4,728 words
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Wealth and Meaninglessness

One of the novel’s primary themes and the source of its central conflict is the inability of wealth and abundance to give value to life. Edgar is the character who struggles most deeply with this problem, but Fern and Mary and Hugh Keating also seek to reconcile privilege with a meaningful life. The narrator encapsulates the difficulty perfectly while describing a neighbor’s deviation from the standard: “Enjoyment was not the work of the upper class. To prove that they were worthy of their wealth, they had all silently agreed to remain in the upper margins of unhappiness. Some had fun in private, in secret, but the volume was kept low in public. No one deserved fortune and joy both” (249). According to this perspective, fortune dooms its possessors to a life of enacted misery and guilt. Hugh draws on his origins in the...

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This section contains 4,728 words
(approx. 12 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty: A Novel Study Guide
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