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Edith Wharton's Evolutionary Conception
Edith Wharton's Evolutionary Conception
📖 Book - PDF

Edith Wharton's Evolutionary Conception

Darwinian Allegory in the Major Novels
Paul J. Ohler
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176 pages
language
English
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📖 Book - PDF

Edith Wharton's Evolutionary Conception

Darwinian Allegory in the Major Novels
Paul J. Ohler
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About This Book

Edith Wharton's "Evolutionary Conception" investigates Edith Wharton's engagement with evolutionary theory in The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, and The Age of Innocence. The book also examines The Descent of Man, The Fruit of the Tree, Twilight Sleep, and The Children to show that Wharton's interest in biology and sociology was central to the thematic and formal elements of her fiction. Ohler argues that Wharton depicts the complex interrelations of New York's gentry and socioeconomic elite from a perspective informed by the main concerns of evolutionary thought. Concentrating on her use of ideas she encountered in works by Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and T.H. Huxley, his readings of Wharton's major novels demonstrate the literary configuration of scientific ideas she drew on and, in some cases, disputed. R.W.B. Lewis writes that Wharton 'was passionately addicted to scientific study': this book explores the ramifications of this fact for her fictional sociobiology.
The book explores the ways in which Edith Wharton's scientific interests shaped her analysis of class, affected the formal properties of her fiction, and resulted in her negative valuation of social Darwinism.

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Information

Publisher
Taylor and Francis
Year
2013
ISBN
9781135511470
Topic
Literature
Subtopic
Literary Criticism
Edition
1

Table of contents