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How does the theme of loneliness work in Charity?Please talk about the effect of...

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hatepaper | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 21, 2011 at 7:51 PM via web

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How does the theme of loneliness work in Charity?

Please talk about the effect of loneliness on Charity.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 1, 2011 at 6:09 AM (Answer #1)

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Charity Royall, in Edith Wharton's novel Summer, feels loneliness in many different aspects of her life.

First, her guardian, Lawyer Royell, alienates her because of her detest at his advances. She is not interested in her guardian at all and, once she tells him, he begins to leave her more often. This advance is ironic given the fact that they had lived under the same roof for years and, basically, ignored each other.

Another example of Charity and loneliness appears when the Mountain is brought up. Charity had come from the Mountain. Given that she must live with Lawyer Royell in North Dormer, she cannot connect to her heritage, her true home. This, too, forces Charity to feel alone.

Once Charity meets Lucius Harney her life changes. At the end of the relationship with Harney, Charity finds herself abandoned and pregnant. Once again, Charity is alone.

While the entire novel depicts Charity as searching for independence, her need to feel comfort and stability outweigh all else.

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