Summer Essay

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Bily is an instructor at Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan. In this essay, Bily examines how Charity Royall receives and rejects clothing and other objects of adornment from men in Summer.

At the turn of the twentieth century there were strict social prohibitions against a gentleman giving a lady clothing or jewelry. An unmarried woman who received clothing from a man was considered to be "no better than she should be," a woman of loose morals. Married men could display their worth by the way they adorned their wives; a woman with expensive clothing and jewelry and the time to study the latest fashions was evidence that her husband had enough disposable wealth to support such conspicuous consumption. These social conventions were a small part of a rigid system that worked against women having autonomy within or without the bonds of marriage. Young women like Charity Royall in...

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This section contains 1,958 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Summer Study Guide
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Summer from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.