Edith Wharton's Flamboyant Copy

Henry B. Wonham

in Playing the Races

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780195161946
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199788101 | DOI:
 Edith Wharton's Flamboyant Copy

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This chapter explores Edith Wharton's ambivalent attitude toward the social conventions that structure her fictional world. It argues that caricature allows Wharton to challenge categories of class and ethnic organization even as she underwrites their authority more firmly in the realm of ethnic representation. The chapter focuses on Rosedale, the “impossible Jew” of The House of Mirth, and on Lily Bart, herself a caricature of the white woman of fashion.

Keywords: Edith Wharton; Life; Puck; anti-Semitism; ethnicity; identity; class; caricature; assimilation; illustration

Chapter.  7760 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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