Compare And Contrast Charles Chesnutt And Editha

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“The Passing of Grandison” by Charles Chesnutt and “Editha” by William Howells follows the tale of two young “lawyer” whom both share the goal of wanting to win the hearts of the women they each love. Although their methods of doing so vary greatly the two characters from two different stories represent the feelings of their respective authors toward motivation.
Dick Owens, the son of a prominent slave owner in the South, has spent his time spending law according to old Judge Fenderson but was in need of ambition in order to make any progress as a lawyer. The women he loves, Charity Lomax, won’t agree to marry him unless he completes a task that requires effort on his part. Charity says “I’ll never love you, Dick Owens, until you done something. …show more content…

“But the man I marry must love his country first of all” (Howells 17) demonstrating Editha’s burning passion for a man that loves America. George satisfies Editha to some extent by enlisting in the army but not without taking some liquid courage first. Editha, however, doesn’t get to enjoy it for long as George quickly became a tragedy of war after the first skirmish and upon meeting George’s mother Editha is forced to take a look at her own morals and …show more content…

Just to please Editha, George had to fully intoxicate himself with alcohol only to end up six feet under shortly after. “In the list of the killed which was telegraphed as a trifling loss on our side, was Gearson’s name” (Howells 19). In exchange for his life, George conformed to ideals he didn’t believe in simply to win the heart of a woman who clearly didn’t care for him or his own thoughts. Through this character, one could go as far to say that Howells believes that people who live only to please those around them and not themselves don’t even deserve to be alive. Without ones’ original thoughts and beliefs, you are simply a puppet in the hand of the beholder in this case

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