Characters like Gertrude and Felix are curious about things that they have not experienced. They search for new things, being unable to maintain one way of life for a long period of time. Gertrude displays this by her imaginative nature. She adores imagining, wishing to be somewhere else in the world. When she is left alone when everyone else goes to church Gertrude decides to transport herself to Arabia: "She possessed herself of a very obvious volume-one of the series of the Arabian Nights-and sh...
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...g consistency, and thus they are conservative characters who can live together because they will be able to sustain order and routine. Eugenia and Acton can never agree on how to live, forcing them to end their relationship. In this novel, James takes a more humorous approach than in his other novels, and pokes fun at his own stiff American culture. He uses the European influence to show how narrow-minded New Englanders were at the time, and in fact James was part of this puritanical society. However, he presents a contrast with characters who believe that change is essential. Thus, through showing two juxtaposed opinions, James contrasts American conservatism with European worldliness, and how this reflects on the members of those different societies. However, as in the best Shakespearean comedy, the story ends with a marriage, and it is all much ado about nothing.
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