Edith Wharton Writing Styles in Summer

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Bildungsroman

Summer is a bildungsroman (from the German for "novel about education"), the story of a young person's development into adulthood. The tradition of the bildungsroman in English literature is strong and includes such important novels as Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre (1847) and Charles Dickens's David Copperfield (1849—1850). Typical of the form, Summer begins with Charity, a relatively sheltered young person on the verge of adulthood. Charity has no real responsibilities, and her basic needs are provided for. She is independent-minded but still rather childish, as when she murmurs, "How I hate everything!" She is not curious about books or about other people; she keeps telling herself that she does not care what anyone thinks of her but cannot stop comparing herself to Annabel Balch and the Nettleton ladies; she falls head over heels in love with the first city-born man she sees—in short, she is a...

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This section contains 590 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Summer Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Summer from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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