Month: October 2014

Summer by Edith Wharton

In Summer by Edith Wharton, I believe that the death of Mary Hyatt shines a light into the type of mother that Charity is going to be. When seeing her mother’s dead body for the first time, an almost motherly instinct kicks in, and Charity begins making the body of her mother look more presentable. Wharton writes, “Charity, trembling and sick, knelt beside him, and tried to compose her mother’s body. She drew the stocking over the dreadful glistening leg, and pulled the skirt down to the battered upturned boots” (227). This passage shows that even though Charity has no idea who her mother really was, she still has some sort of instinct that drives her to take care of Mary Wyatt. This is important because she won’t really know her child fully before it is born, but she will have to take care of her child from the minute that she meets it.

I also have a feeling that Mary Wyatt inspires Charity to be the best mother that she can be. I say this because of the loneliness and separation that Charity feels while traveling to see her mother. As stated by Wharton, “The sense of unescapable isolation was all she could feel for the moment.” Through thoughts like this, we can see how rough it is on Charity to not have known her mother for her whole life. Had her mother not left her, it can be speculated that she wouldn’t have had to make this grim trip, but instead, could have had a much deeper relationship with her mother, and had led a much different life. Mary Wyatt’s death causes Charity to really become the mother that she never had.

Frank Churchill

Throughout the novel Emma by Jane Austen, many characters with moral dilemmas are introduced. A character that I find quite fascinating to analyze is Frank Churchill.

Frank Churchill is quite a character, for lack of a better phrase. When first introduced to the novel Emma, he is seen as a potential mate for her. Personally, I can see why this is rather fitting. He is a charming, wealthy man. He also comes from a decent family.

On the other side of things, he makes very poor decisions. On page 142, Emma discovers one of her first issues with Frank Churchill. Austen writes, “Emma’s very good opinion of Frank Churchill was a little shaken the following day, by hearing that he was gone off to London, merely to have his hair cut.” In my opinion, Frank Churchill lacks the values and morals that he should have. His decisions are very rash, and he is quite self focused, through the issue with his hair.

Frank’s character is used to mirror Emma’s, because he seems to be most like her in many aspects. I believe that he learns who he is through his struggles with love. He also learns that he cannot use his charm to deceive everyone. I believe that when he finally settles with Jane Fairfax, there is a type of resolve that occurs. Likewise, this is mirrored when Emma not only finds Harriet’s happy ending with Robert Martin, but when Emma finally realizes how suited she is to be with Mr. Knightley.

Honestly, I don’t think Emma would have ever settled down with Mr. Knightly, had Mr. Churchill not come into the novel. Emma needed someone who made her start questioning her own flaws. With Mr. Knightley poking fun at Emma, this was possible, but with Frank Churchill, she could actually see what her flaws looked like.