A Critical Analysis Of Editha By Howells

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Howells’ “Editha” is a story about a young woman who is insisting that the man she is marrying, George, enlist in the upcoming war. Editha views the war as an act of heroism, which will prove George’s love to her. Editha refers to the war as the “Glory war”, this shows the unrealistic and idealistic view that she has regarding warfare. She does not see that war brings death, bloodshed, and conflict to those who chose to fight in it, and she expects George to haphazardly enlist. George views the upcoming war in a truthful realistic manner with the understanding of the consequences that accompany enlisting. George is uncertain about the reason for war and does not see it as the honor that Editha does. He shows this by stating, “But war!, Is it glorious to break the peace of the world” (p.290). For George, joining a war in which he does not fully believe in does not bring him honor but rather uncertainty. When analyzing Howells’ “Novel-Writing and Novel- Reading”, Howell criticizes writers who produce fiction, because he believes that truth is beauty. He states, “The truth which is the only beauty, is truth to human experience” (p.572). This can be applied to the story of ‘Editha”, because she did not view the truth as human experience. The truth about the war, to her, was that it is…show more content…
Gearson. Mrs. Gearson is asking Editha why she would pressure her son to enlist in order to kill others and eventually be killed. She tells Editha, “I suppose you would have been glad to die, such a brave person as you! I don’t believe he was glad to die” (p. 298). George’s mother is scalding Editha because she realizes how ignorant she has been, which cost her son’s life. Howell links his ideas of writing the trust through human experience to the ignorance of Editha by addressing the repercussion of Editha’s actions, which was the death of her

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