A Comparison Of The Women
|Term Paper Title
||A Comparison Of The Women
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A Comparison of the Women
of Wharton and Deledda
Two writers, both women, both from different backgrounds. Edith Wharton was high society. Grazia Deledda was a commoner from another country. Though both wrote almost exclusively to their won regions, their portrayal of women was quite similar. In Whartonís Ethan Frome she has two women, both distinct from one another. In Deleddaís La Madre, two women also make up the bulk of the story. But there are many more similarities in these works. Released only nine years apart both novels deal with a struggle of the heart, of the faith, and a struggle of their moral soundness. And in both stories the women are portrayed on opposite sides of the conflict. In this paper I intend to show an apparent bond between these storiesí characters, and the gamut ran between the female personae.
Published in 1911, Ethan Frome is considered one of the best contemporary short novels of its time. Ethan Frome illuminated Whartonís familiar writing style with a spark of imagination. In this story, as I expressed in the opening paragraph, lie two women. The first is Zenobia Frome, or Zeena for short. In her late twenties, she suffers from a compounded sickness that was thought to be brought on by her taking care of Ethanís mother and her absorption of lifeís burdens. In this story she is the conflicting character.
The other woman is a young Mattie Silver, the cousin of Zeena and the housemaid of the Fromes. Mattie is about twenty-one years old and not too much of a house keeper since she is small and weak and somewhat clumsy. But nevertheless she caught the eye of Ethan Frome who would fetch her on nights of town revelry, and with that grew a forbidden love. This is the conflict of the story.
In 1920, Grazia Deledda published La Madre. Maria Maddalena is the mother of the priest who, throughout the book, falls to the wayside under temptation. She is a very old-fashioned woman as is the whole town. Overprotective of her son, she helps build up the climactic theme of faith. The other woman is Agnes, a well-to-do townswoman who is the object of the priestís backslidden affair. Unlike Ethan Frome, in this story the characters of conflict shift between the two women. Now letís look at the comparable likeness of the women in both stories.
To look at Maria Maddalena and Zeena Frome in the same frame would not be a far stretch. Both are very controlling and try to rule the lives of the men around them. Zeena por
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