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Social issues imbed themselves not only in history books, but also in the literature that is written during the time period. This book traces the discussion of female suicide that was taking place in
America between the years 1870-1900. Some attributed suicide to insanity and imitation, while others ascribed the act to individuals with an intelligent disposition. Some theorists, however, believed the act was directly connected to social consciousness and the plight of women. Kate Chopin's The Awakening
(1899) can be read as a response to this conversation concerning women who commit suicide. She contends that her female protagonist, Edna Pontellier, takes her life because she is an individual woman trapped in a confining culture. Edith Wharton's The House of
Mirth (1905) further adds to Chopin's foray.
Wharton's Lily Bart, like Edna, establishes herself as an independent woman. In the end, Lily commits suicide in an act of free will and sound mind to escape the misery her society imposes. This analytical read of both the issue of suicide and the response of these two female authors adds fresh dialogue to the genre of women's literature and feminist studies.
|Product dimensions:||0.12(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)|