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Using the novel Summer, by Edith Wharton. as a study, can someone focus on the...

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stuntsman | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 9, 2011 at 11:39 AM via web

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Using the novel Summer, by Edith Wharton. as a study, can someone focus on the humanistic need to be loved as women in a society?

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

Posted September 3, 2011 at 6:38 AM (Answer #1)

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Charity Royall, the main character in Wharton's novel Summer, looks to many different places on her quest for love. First, intrigued by a stranger, Lucius Harney, in the library where she works, Charity begins to dream of being loved by him and begins a romance with him as the action of the novel moves forward.

Charity also flirts with the fact that she is loved by her uncle and legal guardian, Lawyer Royall. Royall announces his love for Charity, but, given the fact that she wishes to be loved by Harney, she renounces him.

One last, and final, place where Charity looks for love is the mountains (a far different kind of love based upon the fact that this is where she came from and hopes to be accepted by) from which she came. After returning to the Mountain, Charity finds that her existence in North Dormer has been one far more privileged than the one she would have lived in the mountain.

Charity is continually looking for love. When shunned by Harney, Charity finds no other choice but to marry Royall. Her internal desire to be loved by another comes to be far more important than her love for Harney. Therefore, her humanistic need to be loved far outweighs her desire to love another.

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