Edith Wharton Research Paper

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It is widely believed that the lives of authors and artists alike are reflected in their works. This phenomenon most certainly seems to hold true for Edith Wharton and her novels. Most influential to Wharton’s writing was her setting throughout her life. She was born in New York City in 1862, an age of rapid societal change in one of the greatest centers for social excitement. As her parents had inherited moderate fortunes from their relatives, Wharton and her family were very well off financially. This position of inherited economic security gave Wharton a very interesting view on society. It allowed her to act as a “participant of fashionable society and an observer of its kaleidoscopic changes in New York” (Dwight). Not only did Wharton …show more content…

Wharton married Edward Robbins Wharton in 1885, a man eleven years her elder who was a member of her mother’s social circle. Although her husband had many attractive qualities, he did not share Wharton’s interests in art. This fact, combined with her conflicted feelings toward being merely a matron in society and Edward’s poor health, led Wharton to be exceedingly unhappy in her marriage. The misery Wharton found in her married life very much carried over to her negative views of marriage during her time, as well as critical views of American society in …show more content…

From her observations, Wharton formed and carried across in her novels opinions about the ways in which classes were formed and how members of different classes interacted. One of the aspects of the class system that is most evident in Wharton’s novels is its instability, especially in New York City. The insecurity of the structure of society rested mainly in the fact that society was constantly changing at the time. While there was always a small faction who was considered to be part of the elite class, the individuals who qualified for that position in society were constantly in danger of being replaced. In The Age of Innocence, Wharton examines these changes in high

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