Does the story "Editha" have an allegorical connection between Editha and America, and if so what does her characterization say about the nation? 

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Editha," you could argue that Editha is an allegory for those in America who believed that if the United States fought in a war, they must be fighting for a glorious cause. Editha is so caught up in the glorification of war, and American idealism, that she believes it is God's will that the war should be fought.

George is much more rational and thoughtful. When he challenges Editha, she says he is being blasphemous. Editha's attitude toward the war can be described as nationalism. Extreme nationalism is when one believes so strongly in their nation that they blindly follow whatever that nation does. In fact, when George becomes inebriated/brainwashed by all the war talk, he follows Editha's reasoning and equates America's glory and infallibility with God's: 

What a thing it is to have a country that can't be wrong, but if it is, is right, anyway! 

Editha represents a tendency in America of extreme patriotism, that her nation "can't" be wrong. There is nothing wrong with patriotism but her automatic glorification of war precludes her from making any rational statement about what the war is even about; she simply says it is right. She doesn't fully consider the war's implications until she learns of George's death. The story itself is an allegory of the thoughtless glorification of war. Editha herself is representative of the part of society (America in this case) that believes their country can't be wrong and therefore, is justified in any war, and thereby that war must be glorified.