Catherine Mingott Rhetorical Analysis

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Wharton utilizes Catherine’s physique to express her individuality and tremendous authority along with her bedroom to express her individuality in a pursuit to provide the readers with a physical manifestation of two pieces of her soul. Catherine Mingott’s physique represents her individuality and tremendous authority over her family. The narrator describes Mingott’s obesity as being very prominent declaring that “the immense accretion of flesh had descended on her in middle life like a flood of lava on a doomed city”(Wharton 24). Despite obtrusive shape which is described as a “natural phenomenon”(24), she composes herself with dignity and has a high level of self-esteem, revealing her tremendous level of strength. Regarding her physique, Catherine “had accepted this submergence as philosophically as all her other trials , and now, in extreme old age, was rewarded by presenting to her mirror an almost unwrinkled expanse of firm pink and white flesh”(24). Catherine’s unwrinkled face represents her stance in society which is not hindered because of her obesity. Even with her old age, she looks youthful and is regarded as so. Being the “matriarch”(11) of the family …show more content…

The lowness of the bed is due to not only her physique, but could indicate how grounded to reality she is rather than the rest of New York Society, who have their heads in the clouds. Even at a time like sleeping, which gives people the chance to fly as high as they like into their own fantasies, she remains close to the ground. It can be assumed, in her her pursuit to avoid becoming like the multitude and losing her grip on reality. It can also be due to the heavy burdens of her past that she carries on her shoulders that prevent her from taking part. This sets her apart from others and depicts the inner independence of Catherine that makes up a part of her extravagant

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