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Comparing William Dean Howells's Editha And Henry James Daisy Miller

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William Dean Howells’s “Editha” and Henry James’s “Daisy Miller” In the nineteenth century, American writers became obsessed with the Realism movement. They started to focus on problems of that century such as wife abuse, child neglect and women’s freedom. They wrote about the middle class that suffers from different social problems especially women who act against their social norms and traditions. Realistic writers try to represent the events and social conditions as they really are without idealism. They show the harsh and cruel reality of the surrounding environment that women live in without framing that reality in beautiful frame. This is obvious in William Dean Howells’s “Editha” and Henry James’s “Daisy Miller”. Both Editha and Daisy share the same characteristic of the New Woman. These two women redefine the feminine ideology of women who suffer from following the social norms of their culture. They believe that women should have freedom as well as men, and they are responsible for making decisions in their lives without under…show more content…
She sends her lover to fight even though that she knows that George’s father lost his arm in the Civil War. Editha thinks “if with an empty sleeve, then he should have three arms instead of two, for both of hers should be his for life. She did not see, though, why she should always be thinking of the arm his father had lost”(7). She has a long conversation with George to convince him why he should go to the war. Her view of war is different from George’s view that war brings glory and pride. Editha sacrifices her emotions that she may lose her lover in the war. She prefers to be a widow instead of preventing George from sacrificing his soul for his country. Editha is not an ordinary woman who wants to approve to her society that she is independent woman who can take care of herself in sad
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