In examining the two distinct characters of Nel (Wright) Greene and Sula Peace from Toni Morrison's Sula, a unique individual soul emerges from the two women. This soul takes into account good, bad, and gray area qualities. They gray area qualities are needed because, while Nel exhibits more of the stereotypical "good" qualities than Sula, the stereotypes of good and bad don't fit the definition completely. Nel and Sula combined create a type of ying and yang soul, each half including some of the other half. While at times the two women are polar opposites of one another in point of view, they arrive at their opinions with the help of the other. The two characters need each other in order to exist to the extent that they become "two throats and one eye" (Morrison 2167). A physical example of how connected the two girls are is seen when they line up head to head forming a straight, continuous, and complete line (2124).
He is physically isolated from the world and is also cut off from the possibility of any relationship. Due to his new situation, he looks for an outlet in order to relieve himself from this isolation. Luckily enough for him, Mattie comes around in order to help Zeena out due to her illness. Wharton writes, “...the coming to his house of a bit hopeful young life was like the lighting of a fire under a cold heart” (Wharton 33). As Smith recognizes in this comparison, he says that “His (Ethan) life of isolation changes, however, when Mattie Silver comes to stay with him and his wife” (Smith 96). Smith correctly analyzes Ethan’s situation, labeling Mattie as this outlet of hope that he can turn to in order to cope with his isolation. Wharton herself shows that Ethan truly did view Mattie as his outlet for hope, mainly due to his love for her, which Mattie shares equally for him. This love sprouts from many things including attractiveness, conversation, understanding, and listening, many of which he lacks for his whole life and where most of his isolation roots itself. Wharton writes, “She had an eye to see and an ear to hear: he could show her things and tell her things, and taste the bliss of feeling that all he imparted left long reverberations and echoes he could wake at will” (Wharton 28). This is a fancy way of saying that they Mattie not only listened to Ethan, but also
Ethan Frome marries Zenobia (Zeena) after the death of his mother in "an unsuccessful attempt to escape the silence, isolation and loneliness of life" (Lawson, 71). But, after time, he finds his life again becoming silent, as it was with his mother. Their lack of communication is continually making the marriage more misera...
When Marie tries to ask the protagonist to take a walk, this action shows that she is trying to achieve Pauline’s dream by getting her outside of the house. Therefore, she could finally feel the true meaning of freedom. Nevertheless, Pauline’s mother’s response demonstrates that she wants her daughter’s safety more than anything. The mother tries to keep Pauline away from the danger, so the protagonist can at last have a healthier life. However, Agathe’s reply shows that her mother is willing to sacrifice Pauline’s dream to keep her secure. Therefore, the author uses contrasting characters to mention that safety is more valuable. Furthermore, the protagonist starts to describe Tante Marie and reveals that she always has her hair “around her shoulder” (85). When Pauline describes Marie, Pauline shows how her Tante is open-minded. In fact, Marie helps Pauline to let go of her limitations and to get a taste of her dream. Therefore, Marie always wants Pauline to go outside and play hockey or even to take a walk. These actions that Pauline’s Tante takes show how she is determinate to make Pauline’s dream come true. Thus, the author
“No, he didn’t. For I’d ‘a’ been ashamed to tell him that you grudged me the money to get back my health, when I lost it nursing your own mother” (Wharton 46). This section of the book fixed my perception of Zeena. As I begun reading I thought Zeena was just simply an ill wife, with her hard-working husband. While Ethan battles his feelings for Mattie, I was angry. This is based on how I was raised, I was angry that Ethan liked another while his own wife struggled with her own health. I thought he could do more to help his wife. The quote shocked me, I didn’t think of Zeena like this. I thought of her as a sickly, caring wife. I was wrong and this section gave me a new version of what was happening. Soon instead of being angry at Ethan, I became
Mrs. Ames from “The Astronomer’s Wife” and Elisa Allen from “The Chrysanthemums”, two women in their best ages, did share similar lives. They were loyal wives, of decent beauty and good manners. They were married for some time, without any children and they were fighting the dullness of their marriages. At first, it looked like they were just caught in marriage monotony, but after the surface has been scratched deeper, it was clear that these two women were crying for attention: but they had different reasons.
Finally, even though, for a long time, the roles of woman in a relationship have been established to be what I already explained, we see that these two protagonists broke that conception and established new ways of behaving in them. One did it by having an affair with another man and expressing freely her sexuality and the other by breaking free from the prison her marriage represented and discovering her true self. The idea that unites the both is that, in their own way, they defied many beliefs and started a new way of thinking and a new perception of life, love and relationships.
The lives we lead and the type of character we possess are said to be individual decisions. Yet from early stages in our life, our character is shaped by the values, customs and mindsets of those who surround us. The characteristics of this environment affect the way we think and behave ultimately shaping us into a product of the environment we are raised in. Lily Bart, the protagonist in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, is an exceedingly beautiful bachelorette who grows up accustomed to living a life of luxury amongst New York City’s upper-class in the 20th century. When her family goes bankrupt, Lily is left searching for security and stability, both of which, she is taught can be only be attained through a wealthy marriage. Although, Lily is ashamed of her society’s tendencies, she is afraid that the values taught in her upbringing shaped her into “an organism so helpless outside of its narrow range” (Wharton 423). For Lily, it comes down to a choice between two antagonistic forces: the life she desires with a happiness, freedom and love and the life she was cut out to live with wealth, prestige and power. Although, Lily’s upbringing conditioned her to desire wealth and prestige, Lily’s more significant desires happiness, freedom and love ultimately allow her to break free.
Edith Wharton creates Lily as a character that is unable to lower herself to society’s manipulations in The House of Mirth through her characteristics and flaws. Her mother’s teaching and her father’s role in her life make Lily believes that money was everything, and a husband only serves as an economic stability; therefore, love is not important. Lily’s inability to control her feeling for Selden and blackmail Bertha Dorset lead to her social descend at the end of the novel, and a death that she could not escape from.
Wharton displays her world in all of its pessimistic indifference to contemplation and romanticism. She illustrates Lily’s blossoming hope shattered and Selden’s life in the “republic of the spirit” summarized down to a barren pose. The shrewd Bertha Dorset holds on to her wealth and her intimidated husband, and the Brys and Rosedales are ready to force their new-made millions into the keeping of an arrangement that slighted them maliciously. A certain decency and the independence to attain it are commodities too frail to endure such a refined social state; indeed, if one ignores the critical last chapter of The House of Mirth, one may say that Wharton...