In the United States, at the end of the nineteenth century, there was a revival of interest in the historical romance, which overwhelmed the realistic movement. People had tired of the commonplace and photographic in literature. They wanted imagination, and the general reading public was interested in swashbucklers and their swords.
Harper and Brothers, T he air was thick with the war feeling, like the electricity of a storm which had not yet burst. Editha sat looking out into the hot spring afternoon, with her lips parted, and panting with the intensity of the question whether she could let Editha sparknotes go.
She had decided that she could not let him stay, when she Editha sparknotes him at the end of the still leafless avenue, making slowly up towards the house, with his head down and his figure relaxed.
She ran impatiently out on the veranda, to the edge of the steps, and imperatively demanded greater haste of him with her will before she called him aloud to him: She kissed him back intensely, but irrelevantly, as to their passion, and uttered from deep in her throat.
She never knew what to think of him; that made his mystery, his charm.
All through their courtship, which was contemporaneous with the growth of the war feeling, she had been puzzled by his want of seriousness about it. He seemed to despise it even more than he abhorred it. She could have understood his abhorring any sort of bloodshed; that would have been a survival of his old life when he thought he would be a minister, and before he changed and took up the law.
But making light of a cause so high and noble seemed to show a want of earnestness at the core of his being. Not but that she felt herself able to cope with a congenital defect of that sort, and make his love for her save him from himself.
Now perhaps the miracle was already wrought in him. In the presence of the tremendous fact that he announced, all triviality seemed to have gone out of him; she began to feel that. He sank down on the top step, and wiped his forehead with his handkerchief, while she poured out upon him her question of the origin and authenticity of his news.
All the while, in her duplex emotioning, she was aware that now at the very beginning she must put a guard upon herself against urging him, by any word or act, to take the part that her whole soul willed him to take, for the completion of her ideal of him.
He was very nearly perfect as he was, and he must be allowed to perfect himself. But he was peculiar, and he might very well be reasoned out of his peculiarity.
Before her reasoning went her emotioning: She had always supposed that the man who won her would have done something to win her; she did not know what, but something. George Gearson had simply asked her for her love, on the way home from a concert, and she gave her love to him, without, as it were, thinking.
But now, it flashed upon her, if he could do something worthy to have won her--be a hero, her hero--it would be even better than if he had done it before asking her; it would be grander.
Besides, she had believed in the war from the beginning. And I call any war glorious that is for the liberation of people who have been struggling for years against the cruelest oppression. Is it glorious to break the peace of the world? It was no peace at all, with that crime and shame at our very gates.
She must sacrifice anything to the high ideal she had for him, and after a good deal of rapid argument she ended with the climax: Since the war has come, all that is gone.
There are no two sides any more. There is nothing now but our country.
I call it a sacred war. A war for liberty and humanity, if ever there was one. And I know you will see it just as I do, yet. When I differ from you I ought to doubt myself. Besides, she felt, more subliminally, that he was never so near slipping through her fingers as when he took that meek way.
Only, for once I happen to be right. She had noticed that strange thing in men: She knew what was in his mind, but she pretended not, and she said, "Oh, I am not sure," and then faltered.
He went on as if to himself, without apparently heeding her: He went on again. I suppose that at the bottom of his heart every man would like at times to have his courage tested, to see how he would act.
But you wish me to believe so, too? But the only thing was to be outspoken with him. I know how sincere you are, and how-- I wish I had your undoubting spirit!"Editha" by William Dean Howells Story William Dean Howells Naturalism vs. Realism Feminist Perspective "The Indelible Stain" "William Dean Howells, our traditional prissy novelist, is a leading member of the generation renowned for its denial of sex.
Sep 25, · William Dean Howells "Editha" In William Dean Howells short story "Editha" the theme of duty is prominent in both the title character and also her fiancee, George Gearson. Throughout the story, many different duties or obligations develop between these two characters and through the development we see that the sense of .
An impressionable young woman, Editha bases her sentimental views about war on the yellow journalism that she reads in the current newspapers. She insists that her fiancé, George Gearson, a. Editha Summary: In William Dean Howells' short story, "Editha", the main character is an unusual woman, Editha, who has her own perfect ideals and pushes them on her lover, George, to ask him to fight in the Spanish-American War.
From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Mythology Study Guide has everything you need to . Editha Summary: In William Dean Howells' short story, "Editha", the main character is an unusual woman, Editha, who has her own perfect ideals and pushes them on her lover, George, to ask him to fight in the Spanish-American War.